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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

EU willing to settle trade beef with U.S.

The European Commission is committed to review its quota system to import hormone-free beef into the trade bloc.

   The European Commission said it’s willing to open negotiations with the United States to settle a longstanding World Trade Organization dispute over U.S. beef shipments. 
   Specifically, the commission will work with the U.S. on a review of the EUs existing quota system to import hormone-free beef into the trade bloc.
   In a Monday statement, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said it’s hoped that this initiative will help “ease tensions across the Atlantic.”
   Hogan also stated, “I want to reassure European producers that the already existing beef quota under the memorandum of understanding will remain at exactly the same level. And I want also to reassure our consumers that the said quota will continue to cover only products complying with Europes high food safety and health standards, in this case only non-hormone-treated beef.
   The commission’s proposal recommends to allocate to the United States part of the existing quota that also is available to other countries’ exporters.
   In 2009, the EU and the U.S. concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU), revised in 2014, which provided for an interim solution to the WTO dispute over the use of growth-promoting hormones in beef production. Under the agreement, a 45,000-ton quota for non-hormone-produced beef was open by the EU to qualifying overseas suppliers, which included the United States.
   A review of the EU’s hormone-free quota system for beef imports was requested by the Obama administration in 2016, and the two sides have continued to discuss U.S. concerns over the MoU’s implementation. 
   On July 25, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to enhance bilateral trade, which is valued at more $1 trillion a year, by promising to work toward zero tariffs and non-tariff barriers for myriad commodities, particularly EU imports of U.S. soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.