EU-US trade: European Commission recommends settling longstanding WTO dispute

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Publication Date 03/09/2018
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On 3 September 2018 the European Commission recommended to the Council to open negotiations with the United States in order to settle a longstanding World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute on export of US beef.

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The beef hormone dispute started in 1988, when the EU applied the precautionary principle and banned products treated with growth- promoting hormones.

In 2009, the European Union and the United States concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), revised in 2014, which provided for an interim solution to the dispute. Under the agreement, a 45,000 tonnes quota of non-hormone produced beef is open by the EU to qualifying suppliers, which include the United States.

The review of the MoU was requested by the previous US Administration in 2016 and the two sides have since then discussed the US concerns on the implementation of the MoU on a regular basis. The negotiation mandate intends to address these concerns and to find a mutually satisfactory solution in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

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European Commission: Press Release, 19/10/2018: European Commission welcomes Member States' support to settle WTO dispute with the United States
European Commission: Press Release, 14/06/2019: The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

ESO Records
The U.S.-EU Beef Hormone Dispute

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