US-EU beef export deal will boost Wyoming beef industry

WYOMING – A deal to open up the European Union (EU) to more US beef exports was met enthusiastically by Wyoming beef growers and policymakers.

President Trump formally announced a deal to increase the export of hormone-free beef to the EU by an estimated 46% in the first year, and nearly triple the current beef exports to the 27 member nations of the EU, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“The announcement to increase the amount of American beef that can be sold in the European Union market is good for our ranchers, our economy and our country,” said US Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. “We produce some of the highest quality beef in the world, and I am glad Wyoming farmers and ranchers will have more certainty when it comes to trade. Our livestock industry is a vital piece of our economy and critical to the wellbeing of our communities.”

Wyoming currently exports more than $3 million in beef and veal to the EU. The state should be well situated to reap the benefits of the new agreement thanks to a strong push by Wyoming lawmakers to pave the way for blockchain technology, which is already being used by stockmen to ensure the history and quality of Wyoming beef.

The trade deal now goes to the EU Parliament for approval. It allows American farmers to provide 35,000 tariff-free tons of hormone-free beef by the seventh year of the agreement, with an initial allocation of around 40 percent. The EU permits 45,000 tons of beef from cattle that were not treated with growth-promoting hormones before imposing tariffs.

Sen. John Barrasso also heralded the deal.

“President Trump’s announcement to expand US beef exports to the European Union couldn’t come at a better time for Wyoming farmers,” Barrasso said. “Agriculture is a major part of our state’s economy and I applaud the President’s work on securing a better deal for the American people.”

The EU does produce beef but not nearly enough to match its high consumption rate. Beef is the 17th most produced food in the European Union. The US is the world’s 4th largest beef exporter behind Brazil, India, and Australia.

The European Union is already an important trade and investment partner for Wyoming. The Cowboy State exported $341.7M of goods and services to the EU in 2018.

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