United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the European Union will continue to provide U.S. beef producers with significant access, at zero duty, to the EU market for high-quality beef produced from non-hormone-treated cattle. The U.S. and the EU are planning to extend for two years Phase 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2009 in connection with the United States' long-running dispute with the EU over its ban on beef from cattle treated with certain growth-promoting hormones.

In the year since Phase 2 began, U.S. beef shipments under the quota were valued at an estimated $200 million, up 300 percent from the value of exports in the year before the memorandum took effect. Under the extension, the EU would maintain its duty-free tariff rate quota for high-quality beef at the Phase 2 quantity of 45,000 metric tons per year until August 2, 2015.

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"I am very pleased that American ranchers and meat processors will be allowed to ship substantial quantities of high-quality U.S. beef into a market worth millions of dollars to their bottom lines," said Ambassador Froman. "Before the Memorandum of Understanding was signed, the EU's beef market had been largely closed for far too long. The substantial market access that we have achieved since 2009 shows what we can accomplish with practical, problem-solving approaches to trade barriers."

"Since 2009, this agreement has greatly expanded opportunities for U.S. beef producers to export high-quality products to the EU," said Vilsack. "By working together with our EU partners to extend this agreement, we have maintained access to a key market for beef products, and set the stage for further progress. U.S. Trade Representative and USDA will continue working closely with our trading partners around the world, including the EU, to further expand trade access for U.S. agricultural products."