The United States will be able to nearly triple its annual duty-free exports of beef to the European Union (EU) over the next 7 years under a new agreement signed last week.
American ranchers will be guaranteed a bigger share of Europe’s beef market, with annual duty-free exports expected to grow from $150 million to $420 million when the agreement is fully implemented.
The new agreement establishes a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) exclusively for the United States. Under the agreement, American ranchers will have an initial TRQ of 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $220 million. Over seven years, the TRQ will grow to 35,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $420 million.
Under the current agreement, U.S. duty-free beef exports to the EU are only approximately 13,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $150 million, and risked declines going forward.
In 2016, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and the North American Meat Institute requested the U.S. Trade Representative to take tariff action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to enforce the World Trade Organization dispute finding in favor of the United States against the EU’s ban on the use of hormones in cattle production. USTR held a public hearing on Feb. 15, 2017.
Negotiations resulted in a new agreement, which was approved by the European Council on July 15, 2019. It will go into effect following the European Parliament’s approval, which is expected this fall. With the EU providing a country specific duty-free quota for U.S. beef, the United States has agreed as a part of the agreement signed today to conclude the proceedings under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 initiated in December 2016.