Background

EU Beef Agreement. The U.S. and the European Union signed Aug. 2 an agreement under which the EU will set aside specifically for U.S. producers a substantial amount of an existing tariff-rate quota allowing duty-free imports of hormone-free beef. Under this agreement the U.S. TRQ will start at 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $220 million, and increase to 35,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $420 million, over seven years. Currently U.S. duty-free beef exports to the EU are only approximately 13,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $150 million. The agreement must still be approved by the European Parliament, which is expected to occur this fall, before it takes effect.

Import Restrictions on Meat from Scotland. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has added Scotland to its list of regions classified as having controlled risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and removed Scotland from its list of regions considered negligible risk for BSE. This action, which follows the Oct. 18, 2018, confirmation of classical C-type BSE in an indigenous cow in Scotland, imposes new restrictions on meat imports from Scotland.

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