18 May 1999
EU challenge to US beef sanctions

THE European Union is set to challenge the level of threatened US trade retaliation against its ban on hormone-treated beef.

Earlier the USA said it was seeking authorisation from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to impose 100% tariffs on $202 million (£125m) of EU exports because Europe had failed to meet the 13 May deadline for complying with a WTO ruling against the ban.

The European Commission said the $202m figure was excessive. EU foreign and agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels gave no sign that they were ready to lift the 11-year-old ban. But they also agreed they wanted a peaceful resolution to the dispute.