Brazil threatens WTO action over EU beef ban

Brazil is threatening to take the EU to the World Trade Organisation over the current temporary ban on imports of Brazilian beef.


The ban came into effect at the start of the month, when the EU Commission refused to authorise any of the farms on a list of over 2600 submitted by the Brazilian authorities for approval.


The EU, which has imposed stricter new rules for farms to gain export approval, had expected no more than 300. As a result, it has decided not to grant any licences.


Official action


In response, Brazilian ambassador to the WTO in Geneva Clodoaldo Hugueney has written to the WTO general council accusing the EU of protectionism and warning that official action could follow.


“The Brazilian government regrets the decision of the EU Commission to temporarily suspend exports of beef to the European market,” said the letter. “The decision is unjustified, arbitrary and disproportionate.”


While he hoped the matter could be settled by negotiation, he insisted that Brazil “reserves the right to defend our interests in the WTO”.


“Conspiracy”


Brazilian ambassador to Ireland, Stello Amarante, was more outspoken. “The campaign is a well devised protectionist conspiracy not only against out exports, but also against European consumers,” he said in an interview with The Irish Independent.


Despite this, Brazil is expected to submit a revised list of about 600 farms to the EU Commission next week.


According to the Brazilian Beef Information Service in London, exports of Brazilian beef are expected to fall over the next 12 months anyway, as domestic demand rises and internal prices improve.

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