Extension of EU negotiations seen as positive for U.S. beef industry

Officials fromthe U.S. and the European Union have agreed to extend negotiations aimed at resolving the two-decades-old trade dispute over beef produced with growth promotants.

April 23rd was the date when the Office of U.S. Trade Representative was scheduled to impose retaliationmeasures, raising duties on a new lineup of products imported from the EU. But that action has now been delayed until at least May 9th as the two sides continue negotiations.

Thad Lively of the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the extension is a positive development.”I think it’s encouraging,” Lively says. “It means that the negotiators have gotten signals from the EU that finally they’re serious and that there’s the opportunity there to finalize this deal.”

Lively says the compromise being discussed would leavethe EU’s growth hormone ban in place—but would provide other trade relief that may allow the U.S. to export a higher volume of beef into Europe.

“Basically, what we’re looking for out of this agreement is something that would give us access to the Europeanbeef market that we don’t have today,” he says.

Lively is senior vice president for policy, planning and research at USMEF.

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