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U.S., EU Sign Extension of Deal Suspending Trade Sanctions for Ban on Hormone-Treated Beef

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. and European Union officials signed Oct. 21 a two-year extension of an agreement that gives duty-free access to the European Union market for high-quality U.S. beef produced from non-hormone-treated cattle. Under this extension, the EU will maintain until Aug. 2, 2015, a tariff-rate quota allowing up to 45,000 metric tons of such beef to enter the EU duty-free each year.

This agreement was reached in 2009 to settle a long-running dispute over the EU’s ban on beef from cattle treated with certain growth-promoting hormones. As part of that agreement the U.S. committed to maintain the WTO-authorized retaliatory duties that had been in effect since 1999 and to not impose such duties on additional products for three years. In return, the EU promised greater access to its market for non-hormone-treated beef. In the fourth year, that access increased even further and the U.S. suspended its retaliatory duties. Shipments under the higher TRQ from August 2012 through July 2013 were an estimated $212 million, nearly quadruple the value of exports in the year before the agreement entered into force.

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