More U.S. Beef Could be Destined for Europe

The European Union might be willing to accept more imports of U.S. beef to help ease trade tension with President Trump. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Officials from the European Union (EU) are considering a trade deal that would allow more access for U.S. beef in an effort to avoid a trade war over aluminum and steel.

According to Politico, lawmakers from the EU are trying to broker a deal with the U.S. in an effort to appease President Donald Trump.

This week Trump hosted French President Emmanuel Macron and during the visit made it clear that agriculture, beef producers in particular, needed a better seat at the trade table.

“They have trade barriers that are unacceptable,” Trump says. “Our farmers can’t send their product into the European Union as easily as they should. And we accept their products. So we have to make a change, and they understand that.”

The EU established a quota system in 2009 and it has set a limit of 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef to be imported from the U.S. without paying duties. Since then U.S. beef trade fell from 98.8% of the EU market to 32.6% in 2016, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

With higher tariffs the U.S. lost its foothold in Europe to countries like Australia and Uruguay.

The European Commission released a consultation on increasing U.S. beef access. The report notes that a dispute with the U.S. on a ban against hormone-treated beef in 2008 led to the quota system to be put in place.

The hope of a new trade deal on beef from officials in Washington is to double U.S. beef access into the European market.

More details on possible beef trade negotiations can be found in the following story from Politico:

EU looks to offer Trump a bigger slice of its beef market as trade war looms