August 7, 2019
New trade agreement will see near tripling of US duty-free beef exports to EU
A new deal signed between the United States and the European Union on August 2 will nearly triple the US' annual duty-free beef exports to the EU over the next seven years, a statement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative said.
"American ranchers will be guaranteed a bigger share of Europe's beef market, with annual duty-free exports expected to grow from US$150 million to US$420 million when the agreement is fully implemented," the statement explained.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer remarked that the agreement will support US ranchers in "selling more... beef to Europe." He signed the deal with Finland's Jani Raappana, who represented the EU presidency, and EU's ambassador to the US, Stavros Lambrinidis.
The agreement puts in place a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) exclusively for the US. "Under the agreement, American ranchers will have an initial TRQ of 18,500 metric tonnes annually, valued at approximately US$220 million. Over seven years, the TRQ will grow to 35,000 metric tonnes annually, valued at approximately US$420 million," the Trade Representative statement went on.
"Under the current agreement, US duty-free beef exports to the EU are only approximately 13,000 metric tonnes annually, valued at approximately US$150 million, and risked declines going forward."
The deal traces back to 2016 when US organisations - namely the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, US Meat Export Federation and the North American Meat Institute - called for tariff actions to be taken after the EU banned the use of hormones in cattle production. This development led to the negotiation for the new agreement that was approved just last month by the European Council.
The agreement will come into force following the European Parliament's approval which is expected this fall.