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AMI Vice President Testifies on EU Beef Hormone Dispute

Monday, April 19, 1999

The European Union (EU) will not comply with a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on its hormone ban, and the U.S. should act immediately to protect legitimate U.S. trade rights, according to American Meat Institute Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp.

Dopp made his statement in testimony before the Section 301 Committee. He said EU compliance with the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruling by the May 13, 1999, deadline is very unlikely. He recommended an aggressive retaliation strategy aimed at encouraging the EU to rescind its Hormone Directive.

He noted that the EU’s Hormone Directive against U.S. beef has been in place for more than a decade, even though “EU officials have not been able to present one shred of credible scientific justification for this measure.” A 1997 WTO report confirmed that lack of scientific basis for the EU ban on hormone-treated meat, and a WTO Arbitrator set May 13, 1999, as the deadline for EU compliance.

Dopp recommended the application of retaliatory duties in response to the EU’s defiance of WTO rules. However, Dopp cautioned that retaliatory measures should target all 15 EU member states. Shifting or “carousel” retaliation would ensure that no EU states are immune from retaliation or that one state would bear the retaliatory burden.

Large EU member states should be targeted first, Dopp argued, because the large states -- France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom -- have greater representation in the EU. Subsequent adjustments in the rotational list should target smaller EU member nations. Dopp also recommended flexible tariff levels as a mechanism to deal with possible EU subsidies to offset the effects of higher U.S. tariffs.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
James Ratchford
Manager, Public Affairs

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