WASHINGTON — The North American Meat Institute has expressed support for the U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to impose more than $100 million in tariffs on European Union products. The action is a direct result of the EU’s violation of the duty-free beef quota established to compensate the U.S. for losses arising from the EU’s ban on the use of hormones in beef production, the group noted.
“The duty-free beef quota was established specifically to allow the U.S. to export high quality beef to the EU, but other countries have been inappropriately allowed market access through the quota, as well,” said NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “While retaliation is a last resort, it is the only way to secure fair compensation for the losses the U.S. meat industry has incurred over the years due to the EU’s hormone ban.”
The duty-free beef quota was established in 2009 to replace tariffs instituted by the U.S. after the World Trade Organization determined the EU hormone ban was not science based, and therefore violated WTO rules. Since that time, the EU has permitted other countries to share in the quota, eroding U.S. access to the EU market. Despite repeated requests from the U.S. government, the European Commission has not complied with the original agreement, NAMI said.
“It is imperative that the EU honor its original agreement with the U.S.,” said Carpenter. “We will continue to work with the U.S. government to ensure fair access for our products and support today’s move to reinstate tariffs.”