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EU increases U.S. beef imports

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Years of subpar trade between the United States and the European Union (EU) looks to improve, following an announcement stating U.S. beef exports to the EU are to increase three-fold within the next seven years, per an agreement signed at the White House last Friday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spent Friday afternoon with EU delegates, during which a U.S. exclusive, duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) agreement was established. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the TRQ will grow over a seven year period to nearly $420 million.

Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contributed to the trade discussion. Halstrom conveyed his excitement for the proposed deal.

“It was an exciting day, at the White House press conference, to announce the signing of the EU/U.S. zero-duty beef quota, which is going to enable us to, in essence, triple that market within a few years. So, a very good day for beef producers and the beef industry in the U.S. today,” stated Halstrom.

The USMEF President explained the importance of trade progress made with the EU following the events on Friday.

“So, the issue we’ve had with the EU quota up until now is that since it’s applied quarterly, the quota has been exhausted within the first few weeks of the quarter because the competition around the world is getting in on that quota, which makes the supply chain and the ability of our exporters to ship reliably, every week to be very much in question. This new deal is a U.S. only quota, so this will make the supply chain much smoother. And, from a customer basis, it will allow us to get deeper penetration into the market,” said Halstrom.

While this agreement was signed by both parties, approval is needed from across the pond with full European Parliament consent, prior to implementation, which most anticipate to occur sometime in September.

As for our home state, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) stressed their appreciation for this new agreement, as it relates to beef, along with future deals like that of the USMCA.

“With US beef export value being worth more than $300 the value of a fed steer, the ICA appreciates successful efforts like this one by our current administration to strengthen global demand of our product. In parallel we continue to work toward even more global opportunity moving forward. Following the August congressional recess, we encourage congress to make amends and finalize our country’s commitment to USMCA – a trade agreement that strongly supports US beef trade with Mexico and Canada. Just as importantly if passed, USMCA sets forward opportunities ahead with countries like Japan where a bilateral agreement would place us on a level playing field with other competitors.”