The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef


(Adam Morse, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The Commission shared today with Member States the successful outcome of the negotiations to review the functioning of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the EU.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said: “With the successful outcome of the negotiations, the Commission has delivered on a very important issue with a major trade partner with which we are engaged in broader trade talks. With this step, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to bring about a new phase in the relationship with the United States, in line with the agreement reached between Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018. I also want to reiterate that the agreement will not change the overall volume, quality or safety of the beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards.”

Based on a Council’s mandate, the Commission reached an agreement in principle with the United States and other substantial supplying countries that 35,000 tonnes of this quota will be allocated to the U.S., phased over a 7 years period, with the remaining amount left available for all other exporters.

Following the conclusion of this mutually satisfactory outcome in line with WTO rules, the Commission will submit legal proposals for the Council to authorise its signature and to conclude the agreement with the United States in the coming months, after seeking the consent of the European Parliament.


In 2009, the EU and the U.S. concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), revised in 2014, which provided for an interim solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production. Under the agreement, a 45,000 tonnes quota of non-hormone treated beef was open by the EU to qualifying suppliers, which included the United States.

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