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EU, United States sign agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

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EU, United States sign agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

Photo by John Comloquoy

(WASHINGTON) - The European Union and the United States signed in Washington D.C. Friday an agreement reviewing the functioning of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the EU.

The parties were represented respectively by Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Ambassador to the United States and Jani Raappana, Deputy Head of Mission, for the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative,

The agreement follows from a Joint Statement issued by the Commission and U.S. in July 2018 establishing a positive EU-U.S. bilateral trade agenda.

In 2009, the EU and the U.S. concluded a Memorandum of Understanding, revised in 2014, which provides a solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organization regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production.

Under the agreement, a 45,000 tonnes quota of non-hormone treated beef was open by the EU to qualifying suppliers, which included the United States.

The agreement signed by the parties is in line with WTO rules and establishes that that 35,000 tonnes of this quota will now be allocated to the U.S., phased over a 7 years period, with the remaining amount left available for all other exporters.

The overall volume of the quota opened in 2009 remains unchanged, just like the quality and safety of beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards.

The agreement was negotiated on a basis of a mandate from EU Member States and approved by them in the Council on 15 July 2019. The Council will now recommend the agreement to the European Parliament for formal approval, so that it can enter into force in the near future.

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