2009) The Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative announced today that it is delaying by one month the imposition
of additional duties on a modified list of EU products in connection with World
Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement rulings in the EU – Beef Hormones
dispute. Under a determination
announced on January 15, 2009, the additional duties were to go into effect on
March 23, 2009. Under the delay
announced today, the additional duties are scheduled to go into effect on April
“The purpose of the
modified trade action announced earlier this year was to encourage a resolution
of the longstanding Beef Hormones dispute that would offer a fair outcome
for the U.S. beef industry, while also addressing the economic impact of the
prior trade action on U.S. interests,” explained USTR spokesperson Nefeterius
McPherson. “USTR is currently in
discussions with the European Commission on a possible interim solution that
would provide benefits for U.S.
beef producers. These discussions
have made progress, although several important issues remain to be
resolved. USTR has decided to delay
the trade action in order to give this process every possibility of
announced on January 15, 2009 made additions to and deletions from the list of
the products subject to additional duties, changed the EU member states whose
products are subject to the duties, and, for one product, increased the level of
the additional duties. Under the
decision announced today, most of these changes will be delayed for one month,
and will now be effective on April 23, 2009. However, in order to respect commercial
arrangements that have been made in the period since January 15, there will be
no delay in the March 23, 2009, effective date of the deletion of products from
the list of products subject to additional duties.
The details of the
delay in the trade action are set out in a Federal Register notice that
shortly will be posted on USTR’s website and sent to the Office of the Federal
Register for publication.
In 1988, the EU
banned U.S. beef on the
grounds that U.S. beef producers made use of
certain growth-promoting hormones that are unapproved in the EU. The WTO dispute began in January 1996,
shortly after the entry into force of the WTO. In 1998, the WTO found that the EU’s ban
on U.S. beef was not supported by
science and was thus inconsistent with WTO rules. When the EU failed to bring its ban into
compliance with its WTO obligations, the WTO authorized the United
States to take retaliatory trade measures with
an annual trade value of $116.8 million.
In July 1999, the United States imposed additional
duties on a list of EU products in accordance with the WTO authorization. That list remained unchanged until the
modifications were announced on January 15, 2009.
The EU amended its
ban in 2003, claiming that the ban now complied with WTO requirements, and
challenged the continued application of additional tariffs by the United
In a report released in October 2008, the WTO Appellate Body rejected the
EU’s claim and confirmed that the United States has a continuing right
to impose trade measures on EU products.
On November 6, 2008,
USTR published a Federal Register notice seeking public comments on
possible modifications to the list of products subject to additional
duties. Approximately 600 comments
were received by the requested due date of December 8, 2008. An interagency committee of trade
experts and economists reviewed the public comments and provided recommendations
to the USTR with respect to modifications that would result in a more effective
action, while taking account of effects on the U.S.
economy, including consumers. The
USTR accepted the recommendation and announced the modified trade action on
January 15, 2009.
# # #