A US-EU trade agreement is unlikely to adversely affect Lithuania's agricultural industry, the country's permanent representative to the EU said on Tuesday, adding that the US will not flood the Lithuanian market with cheap products as the deal would provide for removing customs duties only on specific American product quotas.
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"Based on how the negotiators' mandate was formed, this would not have an adverse effect. There would have to be some opening of the agricultural sector, but not of the entire sector. What is being discussed specifically is the possibility of applying a zero-tariff within quotas and the usual tariff above these quotas," Raimundas Karoblis told reporters in Brussels.

Conditions for US agricultural product exports would improve and competition in the Community would increase, but Lithuania would likely be among the last countries to feel this, the ambassador said.

"Countries in the West, which have closer trade links, would be the first ones to feel increased competition. We would perhaps be among the last ones to feel this and I believe that everything would be well with the agricultural sector, which needs competition too," he said.

European and US negotiators have been negotiating on the world's largest free trade and investment agreement for more than a year now. The pact would create a single market of one billion consumers spanning half the globe, harmonizing regulations and removing tariffs from Alaska to the Baltic Sea.

The EU expects to sign the pact before US President Barack Obama's term of office ends in 2017. However, the target date for completing the talks has been delayed more than once.

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