U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab met with EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton in Brussels this week to discuss a number of bilateral trade issues, including EU import restrictions relative to beef hormones and poultry treatments in the context of their role in successfully concluding world trade talks.
"With leadership and determination, a Doha deal is within our grasp as the details of a final agreement could be agreed within weeks," Ashton said in a statement issued by USTR. Ambassador Schwab said, "At this critical time it is all the more important that we not only avoid retrenchment in market opening, but move ahead with an ambitious and balanced Doha Round that creates new trade flows and generates economic opportunities worldwide."
Turning up the heat on the long-standing EU ban on beef from animals administered certain growth promoting hormones, Schwab announced last week that USTR is considering modifying the list of European products subject to increased tariffs, as allowed by the World Trade Organization settlement rulings in the EU beef hormones dispute. "We have been trying to resolve this dispute with the EU without changing the composition of tariffs," Schwab said at the time. "It is now time to revisit those tariffs to see if modifications would be appropriate."