The European Union has completed negotiations with the US over the import of hormone-free beef.
A 45,000-tonne quota of non-hormone treated beef was allocated to “qualifying suppliers” in 2014, including the US, as part of an amendment to a memorandum of understanding reached between the EU and the US in 2009. The agreement formed an interim solution to a long-running dispute within the World Trade Organization “regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production”.
Now, the European Commission has agreed, in principle, that the US allocation is 35,000 tonnes spread over a seven-year period, with the remainder available to other qualifying importers.
The quota deal stems from trade talks between EC president Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House in July last year.
Phil Hogan, the EU commissioner for agriculture, said in a statement late last week: “With the successful outcome of the negotiations, the Commission has delivered on a very important issue with a major trade partner with which we are engaged in broader trade talks.
“With this step, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to bring about a new phase in the relationship with the United States, in line with the agreement reached between Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018. I also want to reiterate that the agreement will not change the overall volume, quality or safety of the beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards.”
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The agreement needs still signing off by the European Parliament once legal proposals have been submitted to the European Council and a formal ruling made.