The Straits Times
Published on Feb 04, 2013

Europe removes agriculture barriers to US trade talks


BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Union dropped its ban on some US meat imports on Monday in a gesture aimed at starting talks on a free-trade pact that would encompass about half the world's economic output.

Brussels and Washington want to deepen a relationship that accounts for a third of global trade, and ending the EU import ban on live pigs and beef washed in lactic acid is meant to show the Europeans are serious about a deal.

The ban will be lifted from Feb 25, dropping European objections that were based on differing hygiene and husbandry methods in meat production. US farmers have long regarded these concerns as unscientific.

The EU may also consider easing restrictions on imports of US animal fat, known as tallow, used in biofuels.