EU might allow more U.S. beef imports

The European Union might allow more U.S. beef imports soon.  The European Commission issued an order in late March to negotiate a revised deal with the U.S. for more hormone-free beef imports.  President Donald Trump has said the EU’s present trade barriers are unacceptable since the U.S. has to accept EU products, but the EU only allows the U.S. to export 45-thousand tons of hormone-free beef without tariffs.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in Washington D.C. last week trying to convince President Trump not to impose steel and aluminum duties May 1st.   Opening the door to more U.S. beef is considered a possible negotiating chip.

The European Commission says it’s been considering adjustments to the U.S. beef quota since before the steel and aluminum tariffs were announced.

Comments to the European Commission show some EU agriculture groups are in favor of adjusting the quota to allow more U.S. beef imports, while others question the need for U.S. beef. The British-based International Meat Trade Association submitted online comments on the Commission’s order to open negotiations with the U.S.  They say the Commission also needs to consider the impacts on their current beef import sources:  Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Uruguay.

Almost half of the EU’s beef and veal production in 2016 came from France, Germany, and the U.K.

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