EU/U.S. Meat Exports
Last week, Grassley called on U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky to take action if U.S. beef, pork and poultry processing plants were not certified by April 1 to export to the 15 nations which comprise the EU. The EU has refused for more than 10 years to allow U. meat products to be sold in EU-member nations, even though the U.S. allows meat from the EU to be sold in the U.S. In January, Grassley and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, of South Dakota, introduced legislation which would require either the initiation of formal dispute settlement procedures or unilateral action when the EU violates any trade agreement by failing to certify U.S. meat packing plants for export.
Grassley Statement --
"It would have been best today if we could have reached agreement and opened the European market for Iowa beef and pork. Since agreement was not reached, it's important that the administration did what it said it was going to do. The rest of the world closely watches what the United States does on trade matters. So, the symbolic impact of today's move is significant: the U.S. will pursue our trading partners when agreements are breached. I believe pressure and attention on Capitol Hill helped to ensure that the administration took appropriate action.
"By taking action to apply our inspection system to EU meat packing plants that export to the U.S., the government has in effect decertified EU plants and prevented them from being able to continue shipping mostly pork to the United States. I hope this will motivate the EU to open its markets to our ag exports."