In what is seen as a gesture of good will ahead of free trade negotiations, the European Union has lifted its ban on some U.S. meat imports effective February 25th. The ban is on live pigs and beef washed in lactic acid, a ban considered unscientific by the U.S. The E.U. may also consider lifting restrictions on animal tallow used in biofuels.
E.U. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is in Washington this week to put the finishing touches on a joint U.S.-E.U. report that is expected to recommend moving forward with free trade negotiations. No date has been set for the actual release of the report.
While tariffs are already low between the two economic powers, the negotiations will focus more on improved access to each other’s market.
Meanwhile, free trade talks between the E.U. and Canada have apparently hit a snag, Reuters reports “The EU remains opposed to increasing quotas of imported beef and pork from Canada, while Ottawa does not want to allow increased imports of EU dairy products, eggs and poultry.” Many see the Canadian deal as laying the groundwork for any U.S.-E.U. agreement.