US envoy Woody Johnson: Don’t let chlorine chicken row derail trade deal

Donald Trump’s ambassador to the UK today insisted any trade deal with America “has to include farming”.

In a combative interview, Woody Johnson accused European Union leaders of a “campaign” to demonise US foods such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef.

“The president has made it pretty clear he would love to have a robust trade deal with the UK,” he said. “Agriculture is extremely important to the president. To get a robust deal that lifts all boats, it has to include farming.”

The ambassador said EU leaders were trying to derail a UK-US deal by highlighting claims that “inhumane” American farming methods caused the need for chlorine treatment. “American farmers care about their land just as much as they do here, and their animals,” he asserted.

“I would submit that a lot of these statements are designed perhaps by the EU to create barriers to US farm products. I think the campaign against American farm products has been very successful, talking about chlorine and so on, but it’s really designed to reduce trade.”

However, Tory MP George Eustice, who quit as farming minister last week, said America could “kiss goodbye” to a trade deal unless it improved animal welfare standards.

He said US farming was “quite backward” and added: “Its livestock sectors often suffer from poor husbandry, which leads to more  prevalence of disease and a greater  reliance on antibiotics.”

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox regards a deal with the US as a priority, but Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said chlorine-washed meat would be excluded from the UK.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.