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Should the ban on European beef be lifted?

Dr. Blake Brown, Hugh C. Kiger Professor and Extension Economist, NC State University/NC Research Campus

Dr. Blake Brown, Hugh C. Kiger Professor and Extension Economist, NC State University/NC Research Campus

Do you think the import and export ban on European beef should be lifted? What would this do to our US market?

Dr. Brown: Allowing imports of European Beef would have some negative effect on U.S. Beef use, but in the larger picture, free trade across products generally benefits both economies. There are two important questions. First, is there a valid sanitary or phytosanitary reason to continue the ban. The scientific community should answer this with policy makers deciding how much risk is acceptable.

Second, the EU has a reputation for maintaining sanitary and phytosanitary trade restrictions with questionable scientific basis. A prime example is the EU ban on meat from animals treated with hormones. A compelling case for lifting the U.S. ban on meat imports from the EU is very difficult to make given that the EU refuses to lift their ban on meat from animals given hormones. For gains from free trade to work, both parties must be open to serious consideration of the scientific evidence.

 

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