Meat Products Trade

Meat Products Trade


This research examines the meat products trade between the European Community (EC) and the United States (US). Both red-meat and poultry meat products are included in this examination. One focal point of this examination concerns the effects of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the treaty establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) likely will have on the meat products trade between the EC and the US.

The most serious and long-running dispute between the EC and the US in relation to meat products trade involves the EU ban on the importation of meat products produced from animals that have been raised with the use of either natural or synthetic growth hormones (United States Trade Representative, 1995, p. 110). The EC imposed a ban on the use of such hormones for livestock production within the EU on 1 January 1988, and the ban became effective for meat products imported into the EU on 1 January 1989. The ban has effectively eliminated the export of red-meat products from the US to the EC.

The United States estimated that the trade damage value of the ban approximates $97 million per year (United States Trade Representative, 1995, pp. 110-111). In retaliation, as of 1 January 1989 the US began imposing 100 percent tariffs in EU agricultural imports to the United States in the value of $97 million per year.

The EC has not retreated from the ban on the use of growth hormones, nor has the US retreated on its efforts to have the ban removed. About the growth hormones, Ravan (1995, p. 32) wrote American agriculture is moving “toward surreal extremes: mating seasons manipulated to produce more lambs, chickens bred without feathers to avoid heat-stress, plants adorned with animal genes, and turkeys too fat too fuck. Even where the EU has made the sovereign decision to forego such ‘progress,’ the fruits of these technical fixes ar…

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