The U.S. Trade Representative's office has taken a step toward a resolution of the ongoing dispute between the United States and the European Union over the use of hormones in U.S. beef production. According to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, USTR is modifying its list of European Union products subject to additional duties under World Trade Organization settlement rulings.
The modifications add and remove from the list of products subject to additional duties, change the EU member states whose products are subject to the duties and, for one product, increase the level of the additional duties. The United States, with authorization from the WTO, has imposed additional tariffs on EU products since 1999. Schwab says the modified duties announced Thursday remain within the level authorized by the WTO.
However, the EU says the move is illegal and promises to challenge it at the World Trade Organization. EU trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton, said in a statement that transatlantic trade needs champions, not sanctions. She called the action most regrettable in the view of many attempts by the EU to find a solution to the long-standing dispute over hormone-treated beef.