03 June 1999
WTO approves hormone beef sanctions

THE World Trade Organisation (WTO) has approved the use of sanctions proposed by the US against the European Union in response to a Brussels ban on imports of hormone-treated beef.

WTO officials in Geneva this morning backed the USA but ruled that the final value of the sanctions would have to be set by an independent arbiter. This is likely to delay imposition of the sanctions until at least next month.

The US claim is for just over $200 million (£124m), but the EU estimates the damage to US producers from the ban is less than $100m.

The ban has been declared unlawful, but the EU is continuing to block access to its markets.