Trump Confirms Deal With EU on American Beef Exports

President Donald Trump waves Friday as he leaves an event announcing expanded U.S. beef exports to the European Union. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Donald Trump on Friday announced an agreement with Brussels on trade in American beef, long blocked from EU markets over concerns about use of hormones.

“American beef is considered the best in the world,” Trump said at the White House.

The “breakthrough” agreement “will lower trade barriers in Europe and expand access for American farmers and ranchers.”

US and EU officials reached a preliminary agreement in June in the dispute that dates back to 1988, when Europe banned imports of meat from animals injected with hormones, a common practice in the United States.

The United States responded a decade later with tariffs on certain European goods but under a 2009 compromise, Washington had lifted some sanctions in return for the creation of a EU import quota to allow some US beef exports.

But other producers such as Argentina, Australia and Uruguay seized a large share of that quota, prompting President Barack Obama’s administration to threaten a renewal of the customs penalties.

To reach the latest deal, EU member states allowed the commission to allocate the United States a larger part of the existing hormone-free beef quota that is also available to exporters from other countries.

The French beef industry has angrily opposed the agreement.

“In year one, duty-free American beef exports to the EU will increase by 46 percent,” Trump said. “Over seven years they will increase by another 90 percent.”

When the deal is fully implemented in seven years, the United States will enjoy a duty-free tariff-rate quota of 35,000 metric tons annually with a value of about $420 million.

Currently, annual US exports are about 13,000 metric tons, according to the US Trade Representative’s office.

© Agence France-Presse

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