Beef Hormones Dispute: US Considers Tariff Raise

US - U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced today that USTR is seeking public comment on the possible modification of the list of European products subject to increased tariffs in connection with World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement rulings in the EU – Beef Hormones dispute.
calendar icon 3 November 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), any such modification could involve the products subject to increased duties, the level of increased duties, or the EU member States whose products are subject to the duties. USTR is particularly interested in comments addressed to the effects on U.S. small- or medium-size businesses or on consumers of imposing higher duties on particular products.

“The WTO found over 10 years ago 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 measures into compliance with its WTO obligations, the United States imposed tariffs on certain imports from the EU, as authorized by the WTO. Since that time, we have been trying to resolve this dispute with the EU without changing the composition of tariffs,” explained USTR Schwab. “It is now time to revisit those tariffs to see if modifications would be appropriate.”

In 1999, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body authorized the United States to impose increased tariffs on EU products with a total annual trade value of $116.8 million. On October 16, 2008, the WTO Appellate Body confirmed that the United States has a continuing right to impose trade measures until the EU – Beef Hormones dispute is resolved.

An interagency committee of trade experts and economists will review the public comments and provide recommendations to the USTR. The USTR intends to complete the process and announce any modifications to the existing tariffs by the end of this year.

Further Reading

- Find out more on the beef hormone dispute by clicking here.

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