Key trade deal agreed by EU and U.S.

The European Union and the United States have signed an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef.

The EU and the U.S represented respectively by Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Ambassador to the United States and Jani Raappana, Deputy Head of Mission, for the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative, inked the deal in Washington D.C. an agreement reviewing the functioning of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the EU.

This is another deliverable of the cooperation fostered by the joint statement issued by Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018 establishing a positive EU-U.S. bilateral trade agenda.

In 2009, the EU and the U.S. concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), revised in 2014, which provides a solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production. 

Under the agreement, a 45,000 tonnes quota of non-hormone treated beef was open by the EU to qualifying suppliers, which included the United States.

The agreement signed today is fully in line with WTO rules and establishes that that 35,000 tonnes of this quota will now be allocated to the U.S., phased over a 7-year period, with the remaining amount left available for all other exporters.

The overall volume of the quota opened in 2009 remains unchanged, just like the quality and safety of beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards.

The agreement was negotiated on a basis of a mandate from EU Member States and approved by them in the council on 15 July 2019. The Council will now recommend the agreement to the European Parliament for formal approval, so that it can enter into force in the near future.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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