U.S. and EU end dispute about beef trade

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, May 15, 2009

Officials of the United States and the European Commission signed an agreement which aims to end a dispute over the EU’s ban on American hormone-treated beef, according to media reports.

As a result US’s access to the EU beef market will be expand in exchange for the elimination of US sanctions on EU products.

The current EU-quota allows 11,500 metric tons of hormone-free U.S. beef per year with a 20% duty. Under the new pact, the EU would maintain that quota but establish a separate duty-free quota of 20,000 tons in each of the first three years (first phase) of the agreement, and, if both sides agree to a second phase, expand it to 45,000 tons in the fourth year, in return the U.S. has agreed to drop all duties related to the WTO case.

However, the decision to raise the quota to 45,000 tons will depend in large part on whether the E.U. will start allowing imports of beef treated with pathogen reduction agents, the officials said.