Washington, DC - The Bush Administration should not strike any deal with the European Union (EU) that would require U.S. beef exporters to comply with the EU’s unjustifiable ban on imports of beef from animals treated with FDA-approved growth-promoting hormones, according to a letter the American Meat Institute sent this week to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The letter was prompted by signals from Administration officials that they are re-opening talks with the EU to “resolve” the EU’s longstanding and illegal ban on U.S. beef.
being considered is that the EU would
"compensate" the U.S. beef industry by creating
an import quota for beef from untreated cattle.
U.S. beef exporters are warning of their
opposition to such an outcome
capitulation on the principle central to this
case could have major negative implications for
U.S. beef shipments to other markets and would
set a dangerous trade policy precedent,” said
AMI Senior Vice President for Regulatory
Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp.
According to Dopp, only one U.S. plant ships a
very limited amount of beef to the EU market
each year – the equivalent of one
afternoon’s production at a typical large
packing plant. EU requirements for producing
and processing beef not treated with hormones
have driven costs to the point where virtually
all potential U.S. exporters have given up.
“As the American Farm Bureau
Federation has so aptly pointed out in a recent
article, no producer is willing to undertake
the economic risk of raising hormone-free
cattle when European markets for it are so
tenuous,” Dopp said. “We must hold firm on
the principle that this ban is illegal and
should be rescinded. To do otherwise would
potentially harm the entire beef production
The AMI letter also noted that
Congress last year enacted a “carousel”
retaliation law against the EU, which would
rotate retaliatory tariffs throughout European
nations in hopes of pressuring compliance.
While the law has been in effect for a year, it
has not been enforced. AMI urged immediate
enforcement of the law.
A copy of
AMI’s letter is available on http://www.meatinstitute.org.
Bush Administration Cautioned on Cutting Beef DealFriday, June 8, 2001
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