Days after Japan announced that it would relax its restrictions on the importation of U.S. beef, the European Union followed suit. According to Reuters, the EU will begin to allow for the importation of live pigs and beef washed in lactic acid beginning February 25. In addition, the EU may also lift limits on imports of tallow (animal fat) for biofuels. Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who represents one of the largest livestock-producing districts in the United States, praised the progress between U.S. and EU negotiators, and hailed the announcement as another victory for Kansas:
"It has been a good week for science and for Kansas beef and pork producers: first Japan and now the EU are recognizing that the U.S. offers safe, high-quality products to consumers. We are excited by this forward movement in trade talks, and look forward to continuing to break down other nonscientific trade barriers. The greatest force for economic prosperity in the world is the free market, and we are excited by the news that Kansans and producers across America will have more opportunities to sell their products overseas."
The developments are seen as a positive step forward both for bilateral negotiations between the U.S. and EU as well as in multilateral negotiations among World Trade Organization (WTO) members. Doha negotiations, the current round of WTO trade talks, are currently stalled due in large part to policy differences in agriculture policy among member-states.