BRUSSELS – The European Union Commission agreed on June 14 to give US farmers a larger share of the continent’s beef imports.

The proposed deal gives the US a guaranteed share of the 45,000 tonnes EU quota for hormone-free beef. The number was agreed upon in 2009 after the EU banned the use of growth hormones in certain types of meat.

“With the successful outcome of the negotiations, the Commission has delivered on a very important issue with a major trade partner with which we are engaged in broader trade talks,” said EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan. “With this step, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to bring about a new phase in the relationship with the United States, in line with the agreement reached between Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018. I also want to reiterate that the agreement will not change the overall volume, quality or safety of the beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards." 

The Commission reached an agreement for the US to gain an initial quota and then slowly rise to 35,000 tonnes in a seven-year period. The rest will be divided up with other major importers to the EU including Australia, Uruguay and Argentina.

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) was pleased with progress being made with the commission.

“While important steps remain in the EU's approval process, improvements to the duty-free quota are progressing and USMEF thanks the Office of the US Trade Representative for its efforts toward this end,” said USMEF spokesman Joe Schuele. “Once implemented, these changes to the quota will be a very positive development for the US beef industry.”