Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beef With Our Beef

USTR takes trade action in EU-beef hormones battle
By Tom Johnston on 1/15/2009

U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab said Thursday the USTR is modifying its list of European Union products subject to additional duties under World Trade Organization settlement rulings in an ongoing dispute with the EU over the use of hormones in U.S. beef production.

The modifications add and remove from the list of products subject to additional duties, change the EU member states whose products are subject to the duties and, for one product, increase the level of the additional duties.

The action represents the latest move in a long battle with the EU, whose ban on beef from animals administered certain growth-promoting hormones dates back to 1988. The United States, with authorization from the WTO, has imposed additional tariffs on EU products since 1999. The modified duties announced Thursday remain within the level authorized by the WTO, Schwab said.

"The existing duties have been in place for over 9 years; the goal of these modifications is to reach a resolution of the dispute under which the EU would allow market access for U.S. beef and the United States could end its trade action," she said in a statement.

EU's take

However, the EU said the move is illegal and promised to challenge it at the World Trade Organization.

"Transatlantic trade needs champions, not sanctions," EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton said in a statement. "This action is most regrettable in the view of many attempts by the EU to find a solution to the long-standing dispute over hormone-treated beef."

The modifications come a little more than a month after USTR closed a month-long public comment period, during which it received some 600 comments. Details of the modifications are contained in a Federal Register notice that will be posted Thursday on the USTR Web site and has been sent for publication in the Federal Register.

The modifications are effective March 23. Link

With absolutely no science to back their claims, the EU has continued with its ridiculous ban of our beef because of our use of growth promotants. Because of their refusal to accept our beef, we have been given permission to continue sanctions against them. Products that will be sanctioned will be on a rotating basis. Remember, the EU would starve to death in a matter of weeks if they didn’t continue importing food. They lost their ability to feed themselves years ago.

No comments: