European Commission (DG Agri)

Impact of EU trade agreements on the agricultural sector

The EU is the single largest exporter of agri-food products in the world with exports reaching 129 bn. EUR in 2015. This export performance has been driven mainly by EU agricultural policies, structural change and technological progress in the agri-food sector, as well as EU trade policies. As the EU market is relatively saturated, income and employment in the EU agri-food sector are dependent on access to export markets.

In this study, we have analysed the impact of EU’s trade agreements with Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland.

We have used a state-of-the-art econometric model (a so-called triple-difference model) that controls for a range of factors that influence bilateral trade between the trading partners, and the model thus estimates the isolated impact of the agreements. We supplement the quantitative analysis with five case studies: German cheese exports to Switzerland, Danish pig meat exports to South Korea, French wine exports to Mexico, Polish sugar confectionary exports to South Korea and EU citrus fruit imports from Mexico.

The main conclusions of our study are

The study is commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development.

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