European Union to Import More U.S. Beef

The European Union has agreed to allow U.S. farmers a bigger share of the European beef market. EU sources and diplomats all tell Reuters that the move could help calm down some transatlantic trade tensions.

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 EU countries, agreed to the deal with the U.S. American farmers gain an initial 18,500 tons of the quota, rising to 35,000 tons after seven years.

The deal will give America a guaranteed share of a 45,000-ton EU quota for hormone-free beef. The quota, agreed to in 2009, helped to settle another dispute that had arisen over the EU ban on the use of growth hormones in meat. U.S. farmers initially dominated the agreed-upon quota. However, under the World Trade Organization rules, it also had to be made available to suppliers outside of the U.S. Australia, Uruguay, and Argentina have grown their share of the quota, pushing the U.S. piece of the pie down to about 30 percent.