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Brady Applauds USTR Action to Protect the U.S. Beef Industry From Unfair European Union Trade Practices

December 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is scheduling a public hearing and seeking public comments in connection with the European Union’s ban of U.S. beef products.

“For years, the EU has denied us access to the EU market through a discriminatory ban on certain U.S. meats—a ban that the WTO ruled clearly violated the EU’s WTO commitments. It’s time to act. Today’s announcement allows us to determine how to hold the EU accountable for its unfair trade practices against U.S. beef. By considering whether to reinstate the retaliation that the Administration had suspended in recent years, we are taking a huge step forward for American ranchers, farmers, and the American beef industry.

“The United States exports more than $6 billion worth of beef a year, and our products are among the best and most competitive in the world. We must ensure that our trading partners are playing by the rules because when they do so, Americans win. I look forward to stepping up our efforts with the Trump Administration in the coming months to regain market access for American beef and to hold the EU accountable when it attempts to bend trade rules at the expense of U.S. workers and businesses.” 

In 1998 the World Trade Organization (WTO) originally found that the EU’s ban on certain meat and meat products was not supported by science and authorized the United States to impose additional tariffs of up to $116.8 million a year against the EU. The Bush and Obama Administrations applied the retaliation until the Obama Administration suspended it on the basis of a settlement agreement several years ago. This action is the first step toward reinstating that retaliation.