New Beef Trade Deal Expected to Triple U.S. Beef Exports

U.S. beef exports to the European Union could increase sharply under a new trade agreement. (File photo)
August 5, 2019 - 4:41pm

A new trade deal with the European Union could triple U.S. beef exports to the E.U., from $150 million to $420 million.


Not all beef is eligible to be exported, as the European Union banned beef with certain hormones in 1989. The U.S. and European Union agreed on the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program in 1999, but the U.S has been working to increase the amount of beef exported to the European Union ever since.

Reuters reports only 17 U.S. slaughterhouses are approved to export beef to the European Union, including Greater Omaha Packing. Brad Lubben, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agriculture Economics professor, said it’s still a gain for all beef producers.

“The sector has an opportunity," Lubben said. "The U.S. beef industry as a whole has an opportunity to perhaps triple beef exports to the European Union and Nebraska certainly has an opportunity to benefit in that as well.”

Lubben said the beef industry has built enough specific markets, including grass-fed, corn-fed beef, or hormone-free, to successfully deal with regions like the European Union.

The percentage of Nebraska beef exported from the U.S. to the European Union rose from 5% to 53% from 2005 to 2018, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Editor's Note: The photo on this story was changed to more accurately reflect the content of the story. 

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