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Obama Administration Takes Action to Address European Union's 'Unfair' Trade Practices Against U.S. Beef Industry

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is taking initial action to reinstate more than $100 million in tariffs on European Union (EU) products exported to the U.S., in response to the EU's violation of the duty-free beef quota established to compensate the U.S. for losses arising from the EU's ban on the use of hormones in beef production. Specifically, USTR has scheduled a public hearing February, 15, 2017, to assess the possible impact of tariff reinstatement on U.S. consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses. USTR contends that the EU's trade practices unfairly discriminate against U.S. beef imports, and that the ban is not based on sound science.

In 1998, the EU lost a case at the World Trade Organization for banning American beef, and in 2009, the U.S. negotiated an agreement to allow a modest degree of market access for specially-produced beef that meets the EU's standards, but that agreement has not worked as intended. Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter expressed support for USTR's decision to impose the tariffs, calling it the only way to secure fair compensation for the losses the U.S. meat industry has incurred as a result of the EU's hormone ban.

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