The European Parliament voted by 457 to 140, with 71 abstentions, in favour of allowing the US a larger share of an existing 45,000 tonne quota from 2020.
With this approval, the US will be able to nearly triple its annual duty-free exports of non-hormone beef to the EU over the next seven years. American producers will have an initial duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $220m. Over seven years, the TRQ will grow to 35,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $420m. The current agreement limits US duty-free beef exports to the EU to approximately 13,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $150m.
All that remains is for the individual governments within the EU to approve the agreement.
US Meat Export Federation president and CEO Dan Halstrom said: “Approval by the European Parliament keeps this agreement on track for implementation in early 2020, which is outstanding news for the US beef industry and our customers in Europe. Lack of capacity in the duty-free quota has been a source of frustration on both sides of the Atlantic, and a US-specific share of the quota will help ensure that US beef can enter the European market 52 weeks per year, without delay or interruption.
“The European Union is one of the highest value destinations in the world for US beef, and consistent access will not only benefit US producers and exporters, but also European importers and their clientele. USMEF thanks USTR and USDA for negotiating this agreement and securing its approval, which will bolster the US industry's efforts to expand the European customer base for US beef.”