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U.S., EU announce beef trade agreement

By Justin Walker

U.S. and European Union (EU) officials announced a trade agreement to send more American beef to Europe.

President Donald J. Trump made the announcement Friday, Aug. 2, in the White House Roosevelt Room with EU officials and American ranchers in attendance.

The agreement “will lower trade barriers in Europe and expand access for American farmers and ranchers,” Trump said.

American ranchers will be guaranteed a larger share of Europe’s beef market, with duty-free exports expected to increase from $150 million to $420 million once the agreement is fully implemented.

Over seven years, the duty-free tariff rate quota established by the agreement will allow sales of 35,000 metric tons of beef to the EU.

U.S. duty-free beef exports to the EU under the current agreement are only about 13,000 metric tons annually.

“American ranchers produce the best beef in the world. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, this new agreement ensures that American ranchers can sell more of that beef to Europe,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, who signed the agreement with the Honorable Jani Raappana of Finland, representing the Presidency of the EU, and Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis of the Delegation of the EU.

All beef must be in line with EU food safety rules, which includes being hormone-free.

The deal represents an additional market the U.S. has reached an agreement with over the past few years, which has been a priority for the Trump administration, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“EU consumers desire high quality products, and I have no doubt that when given the opportunity to purchase U.S. products, we will see more Europeans chose to buy American,” Perdue said.

The U.S. exports $1 trillion of trade goods and services to the EU annually, and American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall expressed the need for continued negotiations to reach a broad trade agreement with the EU.

“America’s ranchers welcome the opportunity to supply a bigger share of Europe’s beef market. This agreement advances a three-decade long effort to expand market opportunities for American agriculture in the EU, and every victory counts,” Duvall said. “While this is certainly good news, it’s important for U.S. negotiators to remain committed to reaching a broad trade agreement with the EU that levels the playing field for all farmers and ranchers.”

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