U.S., Europe to improve food chains after India bans wheat exports

PARIS — The United States and the European Union are taking a look at how to improve food provide chains with export restrictions from India and different nations accentuating world issues, the EU's commerce chief instructed CNBC.

G-7 overseas ministers warned over the weekend that the conflict in Ukraine is rising the danger of a world starvation disaster. This is as a result of Ukraine has been unable to export grains, fertilizers and vegetable oil, whereas the battle can be destroying crop fields and stopping a standard planting season.

This has elevated the reliance on nations from different elements of the world for these merchandise. But a few of these international locations, involved about provides for their very own residents, have imposed restrictions on exports. This is the case in India, for instance, which introduced Saturday a ban on wheat gross sales "to manage the overall food security of the country."

"That's something which is very much of concern," Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU's commerce chief, instructed CNBC Sunday about these new export measures.

"We agreed with the United States to cooperate and coordinate our approaches in this area, because … as a response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine and a corresponding increase in food prices and concerns about food security, countries are starting to take export restrictive measures. And we think that this is a tendency which can only actually aggravate the problem," Dombrovskis mentioned.

He added that these measures, akin to Indonesia's ban on palm oil exports, "make matters worse."

Limits on exports are seemingly to drive up commodity costs, and subsequently food prices too. For the EU, this can be a matter of food affordability, Dombrovskis defined.

Transatlantic bond

The U.S. and the EU are having talks in France on Monday for his or her joint Trade and Technological Council, or TTC. The group was put collectively again in 2021 to restore transatlantic ties, after the Trump-era commerce tariffs and disagreements.

However, the work of the TTC has now gone past its meant focus, akin to semiconductor shortages, to incorporate and discover options for present geopolitical points.

Its first assembly, in late 2021, was overshadowed by the U.S. settlement to promote nuclear submarines to Australia — the place Canberra determined to ditch a enterprise cope with France, upsetting European officers. Now, its second gathering is coping with provide shocks within the wake of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

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Speaking to CNBC Sunday, Europe's Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager mentioned she by no means thought the TTC could be discussing sanctions in opposition to Russia.

"I didn't foresee this coming. I thought the TTC would be much more focusing on all the other issues … like, for instance, how to coordinate in standard setting organizations, how to make sure that we can create a coalition for people to be elected in organizations, how to work on the supply chains," Vestager mentioned.

"I think with the geopolitics that we have ahead of us that we're in now, you know, if we hadn't had the TTC, we'd have had to invent it," Vestager mentioned.

The EU's competitors chief was as soon as dubbed by former U.S. President Donald Trump as Europe's "tax lady" and infrequently criticized for going after Big Tech. However, she says she has seen latest a change within the transatlantic relationship.

"Things are very different from what we saw 2, 4, 6 years ago," she mentioned.

When requested whether or not Russia's invasion of Ukraine served to revive the transatlantic bond, she mentioned: "I definitely think so."

"It has made it abundantly clear that like-minded [nations] must come together," she mentioned.

based mostly on website supplies www.cnbc.com

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