Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the USA and Europe, starting in September, are not expected to result in much of an increase in traffic one way or the other. Rightly, in my view, it is difficult for "plants for planting" to move between continents because of the innate danger of moving pathogens.
Thankfully, these difficulties are likely to take precedence over any possible economic gains and no one is expecting much change in plant health regulations.
In my narrow sector of the trade I like to think we can manage well enough without intercontinental traffic in plants, but I know that is not the view in all sectors. Some would like to see propagating material coming in to Europe from warmer climates where production is more competitive.
Even I can see a point in moving new varieties around the globe. My real issue is with soil - an unknown quantity and you take a risk if you move it from one continent to another. But then, most plants are grown in something other than soil these days.
By chance the TTIP negotiations are about to start at a time when the Americans are reviewing their plant health regulations. They recognise some growing media carry less risk than others and appear to be considering means of measuring risk.
That might, for example, mean in-vitro plants moving more freely because they are more easily shown to be clean from pathogens. This seems a sensible approach to me and I wonder whether our European authorities should do the same.
Tim Edwards is chairman of Boningale Nurseries