European Commission recommends settling longstanding EU-US WTO dispute

EPA-EFE/Marton Monus

European Commission recommends settling longstanding EU-US WTO dispute


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The European Commission decided on September 4 to formally ask the Council for a mandate to discuss with the United States a review of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the European Union, a move that Brussels hopes will help bring to an end a longstanding World Trade Organisation dispute over US beef exports.

The Commission remains committed to delivering on a Joint Statement issued by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Trump to launch a new phase in the trade relationship between the European Union and the United States, including working work on all outstanding trade issues.

“By requesting this mandate to the Council the Commission is delivering on an engagement taken earlier this year to try to address some concerns raised by the United States on the functioning of the quota in a mutually satisfactory solution that is fully in line with WTO rules. By taking this step, we are also contributing to ease tensions across the Atlantic, in line with the agreement reached by President Juncker in July. As we send this proposal to the Council, I want to reassure European producers that the already existing beef quota under the Memorandum of Understanding will remain at exactly the same level,” said Europe’s Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan. 

Hogan also said the current quota will continue to cover products,  in this case only non-hormone treated beef, will continue to comply with Europe’s high food safety and health standards. The negotiation mandate intends to address US concerns and to find a mutually satisfactory solution in line with World Trade Organisation rules. 

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