Global Meat News | 05-Jul-2013
EU wants US beef ban lifted under TTIP
By Carmen Paun, in Brussels
European Union (EU) representatives travelling to Washington DC next week for the first round of negotiations with the US to forge a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) want early progress on the Americans lifting the current ban on European beef, an EU source close to the negotiations said yesterday (July 4).
EU wants US beef ban lifted as part of free trade negotiations
Speaking in Brussels, the source said: “European beef is still prohibited… in the US, for reasons that have no justification whatsoever,” noting that the EU would want to see this changed rapidly in the course of the free trade negotiations.
Plant and animal health rules will be a key part of the agenda for the first negotiation round, which will take place in the American capital city. Besides lifting the ban on beef, the EU negotiators will also look for the easing of health and import rules that impede EU meat exporters seeking to tap US markets. “We have many problems when we export our products because of the burdening American procedures,” the source said without adding details.
He also tried to appease consumer fears that the EU would allow meat from animals that have been given hormones to enter the European market. “For us it’s clear that there is no question to negotiate the modification of our legislation in the matter of sanitary and phytosanitary issues,” the source stressed, noting that the ban on the use of hormones will not be lifted by the EU following TTIP negotiations with the US.
“There is no surrender on this kind of issue,” another EU source said, dismissing as “myths” predictions that imports of hormone-treated US meat would surge onto European markets after a free trade deal.
Consumers’ concerns are understandable, but according to him, “this is not about suddenly seeing a flood from the US side [in meat products]”.
That said, no clear results are expected from next week’s negotiation round. “We will not be agreeing on specific texts, but we will be explaining to each other what we want to achieve,” said the first source.
Two other negotiating rounds are expected this year, with the next scheduled to take place in Brussels in October.