The European Union's blockade of U.S. beef, in place for about the last 20 years, is showing signs of weakening. Members of the European Union have expressed interest in accepting larger quotas of beef not produced with hormone implants. In exchange the US would drop tariffs that were allowed under a previous WTO ruling against the trading bloc.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Gregg Doud says it's possible that the countries are getting closer to making a deal. What has turned things around is the fact that the EU is a major beef importer. And the United States beef industry would like to have a piece of the action, even if it is hormone free beef.
Doud expects that if a deal is accomplished, a substantial amount of U.S. hormone free beef could be headed into the European Union. But first the U.S. needs to gain access.