The United States and Canada are resisting European Union (EU) calls to initiate a World Trade Organisation (WTO) assessment of whether new laws restricting the sale of beef containing hormones has brought the EU into compliance with a WTO ruling on the issue.

The EU claims that it is now following world trade laws by basing its hormone treated beef regulations on scientific conclusions, but Washington and Ottawa have dismissed these conclusions at a recent meeting of the WTO’s disputes settlement body.

They also officially declared that they would continue to maintain retaliatory tariffs worth €120m (US$147.0m) levied against EU food exports and refused to initiate a formal compliance assessment.