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U.S. announces expanded beef trade with Europe

U.S. announces expanded beef trade with Europe

The American beef sector can triple its duty-free exports to Europe over the next seven years

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

More hormone-free U.S. beef will enter the European Union (EU) thanks to an expanded deal between the two trading partners.

Under the new agreement, which is subject to approval from the EU, American beef producers will have an initial tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at about US$220 million. Over seven years, the TRQ will increase to 35,000 metric tons, valued around $420 million.

Prior to this trade deal, U.S beef exports to Europe totaled about 13,000 metric tons each year, worth about US$150 million.

“Opening markets for our farmers is about more than just an industry, it’s about a way of life,” President Trump said during the announcement Friday. “Generations of hard work, passion and dedication have gone into making America the largest producer of high-quality beef anywhere in the world by far.”

The U.S. beef industry is pleased with the news of expanded access to Europe.

Gaining more access to such a key market has been challenging, said Jennifer Houston, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

“For years it’s been difficult for us to get access to the European Union because of some non-tariff and restrictive tariff trade practices,” she said during the announcement. “We want (Europeans) to be able to enjoy the high-quality beef that our American farmers and ranchers produce.”

The deal also ends a dispute between the U.S. and the EU.

In 2014, the trading partners ended a memorandum of understanding that provided an interim solution to the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production.

Under that agreement, the EU opened a 45,000-tonne (49,600-ton) quota of non-hormone beef to suppliers, including the U.S.

Friday’s announcement closes the book on that trade challenge.

“Thanks to this new arrangement, a very substantive amount of existing quota will be (reserved) for the U.S.A.,” Jani Raappana, deputy head of mission for the Finish Presidency of the Council of the EU, said during the presentation. “This provides a solution to our long-standing dispute in the WTO.”


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