04 February 1999
USA gets tough on hormone-grown beef

THE USA is heading for another trade battle with the European Union (EU), this time over beef hormones.

The two trading blocs are already in dispute over the preferential access of Caribbean bananas to Europe. The USA is threatening a punitive range of sanctions on EU goods as a result.

Now Charlene Barshefsky, US trade representative, threatens more sanctions over hormones in beef. She wants the EUs 10-year-old ban on hormone-treated beef lifted and has called on the Commission to begin talks ahead of a May deadline set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The USA claims the beef ban costs its cattle farmers $250 million (£153m) a year in lost exports.

Ms Barshefsky is currently on a tour of European capitals. Among the European goods which would be hit in any trade war would be exports of pigmeat.

  • Financial Times 04/02/99 page 6