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Trade deal with China disappoints farmers

National News // May 14, 2018

Swiss farmers are complaining the much vaunted free trade deal the country has struck with China is not leading to the boom in exports they had been promised.

Rolf Krahl Trade deal with China disappoints farmers

The deal was struck four years ago and has so far been disappointing. Agriculture exports have doubled – but that’s only 1.2% of total production.

The main goods are baby food products. But farmers say that’s down mainly to safety scares in China about domestic products and exports were already rising anyway before the deal came into force.

Although there is more cheese being sold to China – it’s is mainly grated products and not the high value cheese from Gruyère or Emmental. Producers say there’s no added value to the sales.

They’re now warning of a new deal due to be signed with the South American Mercosur trading bloc. They don’t believe that deal will lead to a boom in exports – but imports from the region will increase competition for meat and sugar.

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