The EU has approved an increase in US beef imports to the EU, in a move to ease transatlantic tensions, according to a report by Reuters.
A vote by the European Parliament saw results of 457-140, with 71 abstentions, in favour of a plan to allow US farmers a larger share of an existing 45,000 tonne quota from 2020.
The revised deal will allow US farmers to gain an initial 18,500 tonnes of the quota, rising to 35,000 tonnes after seven years.
Reuter’s report claims that the agreement was designed to settle a dispute in 1981, which saw the EU ban the use of growth hormones in meat across its union, including in imports.
In 2009, the EU and US reached an agreement to grant a quota for hormone-free beef imports, which currently stands at 45,000 tonnes. Under World Trade Organisation rules, the quota had to also be made available to non-US suppliers.
This led to exporters from Australia, Uruguay and Argentina to sell into the quota, resulting in the US share decreasing from 100% to 30%.
“The message of this agreement is clear: we would like to de-escalate trade tensions with the US, but we want to see the same efforts of de-escalation on the other side of the Atlantic,” said Bernd Lange, the head of parliament’s trade committee.
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