U.S., EU Continue Deal that Suspended Trade Sanctions for Ban on Hormone-Treated Beef
U.S. officials announced Aug. 1 plans to extend for two years 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 would 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. A government press release notes that in the year since this second phase of the agreement began, U.S. beef shipments under the TRQ were an estimated $200 million, up 300% from the year before the agreement entered into force.