Canada and EU settle beef dispute

Canada and EU settle beef dispute

​Canada has agreed to drop a decades-old trade dispute against the European Union's restriction of beef imports thanks to terms in the recently enacted Canada-EU trade agreement. The dispute goes back to 1989 when the European Union closed the door on imports of hormone-treated beef, leading both Canada and the United States to challenge the decision at the World Trade Organization.

In a joint statement posted to the WTO website on Tuesday, Canada and the EU said that the CETA Agreement that went into force last month was "conducive for finding a mutually agreed solution and settling the dispute." The European Commission has said that “CETA will not change the way the EU regulates food safety, including genetically modified products or the ban on hormone-treated beef.” The dispute over hormones was at the heart of the long-running CETA negotiations, and by 2013 sources close to the talks said the EU was offering 40,000 tonnes against Canada’s demand for 100,000 tonnes per year.

The terms of the CETA deal allows Canada to export 50,000 tonnes of hormone beef duty-free, while in Tuesday's release Canada agreed to suspend its dispute on the hormone issue while the trade deal remains in place.