EU and US sign agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

The EU and US have signed an agreement reviewing the functioning of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the EU.

The agreement, signed in the US capital Washington DC on Friday, August 2, will see 35,000t of hormone-free beef allocated to the US from a previously-agreed quota.

According to the European Commission, 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-US bilateral trade agenda”.

In 2009, the EU and the US concluded a memorandum of understanding, revised in 2014, which the commission says “provides a solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production”.

Continuing, the commission notes: “Under the agreement, a 45,000t 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 35,000t of this quota will now be allocated to the US, phased over a seven-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 July 15, 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,” the commission statement concluded.