International Trade Daily™ provides rapid, reliable notification of the most significant developments affecting U.S. trade and international business policy, as well as the policies of major U.S....
By Len Bracken
The European Union pushed back Dec. 23 against the initial move by the Obama administration to reinstate tariffs tied to the EU ban on hormone-treated beef.
The EU has met the commitments in a 2009 agreement with the U.S. on imports of hormone-free beef, an EU official said in a Dec. 23 statement obtained by Bloomberg BNA. The previous day U.S. officials said U.S. beef had been denied EU market access despite the U.S.-EU Memorandum of Understanding on High-Quality Beef, which is beef raised without growth-stimulating hormones.
“The EU has fully complied, both in the letter and in spirit, with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the United States in 2009, establishing a hormone-free beef quota,” the EU official said in response to Dec. 22 statements by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
USTR said in a media statement that it was poised to reinstate punitive tariffs authorized by the World Trade Organization in 1999 that stem from a dispute settlement ruling the previous year against the EU's policy of banning hormone-treated beef. U.S. tariffs on an array of agricultural items were phased out from 2009 to 2011 as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding.
“The termination of this agreement and the possible application of duties on EU exports to the U.S. would certainly constitute a most unfortunate step backward in the strong EU-U.S. trade relations,” the EU official said, adding that the EU will continue to implement the memorandum of understanding and stands ready to listen to any concerns of the U.S. administration.
USTR said in an advance release of a Federal Register notice that non-U.S. exporters of high quality beef products have been able to fill a “a substantial part” of the EU's 45,000 metric ton duty-free quota.
While the quota is not reserved for the U.S., the cuts of meat specified in the Memorandum of Understanding correspond with grain-fed beef, according to a U.S. trade analyst who added that the EU is allowing Argentine and Australian producers of grass-fed beef to fill the quota with their high-quality beef products.
In practice, USTR said in the notice, the quota has not provided enough “benefits to the U.S. beef industry sufficient to compensate for the economic harm resulting from the EU ban on all but specially-produced U.S. beef.”
The EU is committed to keeping its high food safety and health standards, the EU official said, adding that only products complying with these standards will be allowed into the EU market.
“Changing the EU's ban on hormone-treated beef was never part of the negotiations with the United States for a trade agreement,” the EU official said, referring to the U.S.-EU talks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that both sides have said will not culminate in the near future.
USTR said in its Dec. 22 statement that the European Commission “had argued that this issue should be resolved through TTIP.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Len Bracken in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerome Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S.-EU Memorandum of Understanding on High-Quality Beef is available at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/asset_upload_file254_15654.pdf.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)