A new agreement on EU beef exports

Last week at the White House, U.S.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

signed an agreement granting the United

States a country-specific share of the European

Union's duty-free high-quality beef


“The United States will be able to nearly

triple its annual duty-free exports of beef

to the European Union (EU) over the next

seven years under a new agreement signed

today at the White House.

American ranchers will be guaranteed a

bigger share of Europe’s beef market, with

annual duty-free exports expected to grow

from $150 million to $420 million when the

agreement is fully implemented.

“American ranchers produce the best

beef in the world. Thanks to President

Trump’s leadership, this new agreement

ensures that American ranchers can sell

more of that beef to Europe,” said U.S.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer,

who signed the agreement with the Honorable

Jani Raappana of Finland, representing

the Presidency of the EU, and Ambassador

Stavros Lambrinidis of the Delegation of

the EU.

The new agreement negotiated by the

Trump Administration establishes a dutyfree

tariff rate quota (TRQ) exclusively for

the United States. Under the agreement,

American ranchers will have an initial TRQ

of 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at

approximately $220 million. Over seven

years, the TRQ will grow to 35,000 metric

tons annually, valued at approximately

$420 million.

Under the current agreement, U.S. dutyfree

beef exports to the EU are only approximately

13,000 metric tons annually, valued

at approximately $150 million, and risked

declines going forward.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)

President and CEO Dan Halstrom, who

participated in the White House ceremony,

issued the following statement:

“This agreement provides more reliable

and consistent access to the EU market and

will be a tremendous boost for the U.S. beef

industry. The agreement sends a very positive

signal to customers in Europe who see a

bright future for U.S. beef and to producers

who are interested in expanding their nonhormone

treated cattle (NHTC) business

but have grown frustrated as they struggled

to recover the additional production costs.

USMEF greatly appreciates the tireless efforts

of USTR and USDA to secure better

access to this very high-value beef market.”


In 2016, the National Cattlemen’s Beef

Association, U.S. Meat Export Federation,

and the North American Meat Institute requested

the U.S. Trade Representative to

take tariff action under Section 301 of the

Trade Act of 1974 to enforce the World

Trade Organization dispute finding in favor

of the United States against the EU’s ban

on the use of hormones in cattle production.

USTR held a public hearing on February

15, 2017.

Negotiations resulted in a new agreement,

which was approved by the European

Council on July 15, 2019. It will go into effect

following the European Parliament’s

approval, which is expected this fall. With

the EU providing a country specific dutyfree

quota for U.S. beef, the United States

has agreed as a part of the agreement signed

today to conclude the proceedings under

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 initiated

in December 2016.


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