The European Commission has proposed to re-open talks with the United States over beef imports, reports EU Observer. The aim of the talks would be to see his U.S. producers could better benefit from an EU quota to import 45,000 tons of beef per year. However, the EU is holding firm on its refusal to accept beef from cattle treated with hormones.

"It's not a question of increasing the existing quota. It's not a question of changing EU rules on import on beef, which have to respect the rules in terms of health and consumer protection," a commission spokesman told journalists.

The United States and Canada have challenged the EU ban on hormone-treated beef at the World Trade Organization, which led to the EU establishing a duty-free quota for hormone-free beef. That quote was applicable to all countries, and  U.S. producers have complained that the block of countries has bought more beef from Argentina, Australia and Canada than from the U.S.

The Obama Administration had, the article states, opened a procedure to impose sanctions on the EU if US beef imports to the EU did not increase. EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said earlier this year that the EU would try to find a solution.

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Source: EU Observer