USA plays long game over beef

17 May 1999

USA plays long game over beef

THE USA is playing things “long” in the dispute over hormone-treated beef with the European Union (EU), according to the Financial Times in an extended analysis of the row.

The newspaper contrasts the diplomatic tactics it is currently pursuing with those which it took in the previous dispute over bananas.

It says the gradualist tactics are intended to keep EU member states off guard and increase pressure on them to lift the ban. The USA now recognises that “rushing into combat with all guns blazing” would be unlikely to achieve that objective – and could prove self-defeating.

The newspaper expects that the total number of products affected by the US retaliatory ban could still be relatively small.

It also detects signs that most EU members would prefer to “take the pain” of a row with the USA rather than risk a political storm on the domestic front by lifting the beef ban.

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