Memorandum on Imports From the European
December 24, 1987
for the United States Trade Representative
Determination under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974
have determined, pursuant to section 301(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as
amended (the Act) (19 U.S.C. 2411), that the ``Council Directive Prohibiting
the Use in Livestock Farming of Certain Substances Having a Hormonal Action''
(the Directive), adopted in December 1985 by the European Community (EC), is
inconsistent with the provisions of, or otherwise denies benefits to the United
States under, a trade agreement; or is unjustifiable or unreasonable and
constitutes a burden or restriction on United States commerce. I have also
determined, pursuant to subsections 301(a), (b), and (d)(1)
of the Act, to increase U.S. customs duties on
certain products of the European Community. I am taking this action to enforce United States rights under a trade
agreement and to respond to unjustifiable or unreasonable acts, policies, and
practices of the European Community that burden or restrict United States commerce. However, I
have determined to suspend the application of increased duties so long as the
EC permits its member states to continue their present importation practices
with respect to United States exports of relevant
European Community adopted the Hormone Directive in December 1985. It is
scheduled to become effective with respect to imports on January
Unless EC member states are allowed derogations to continue their present
importation practices, implementation of the Directive will prohibit imports
into the European Community of any meat produced from animals treated with
growth hormones, thereby severely disrupting exports of U.S. meat to the European
Community. Such a prohibition is not supported by valid scientific evidence.
Accordingly, the United States considers that the
imposition of import restrictions under the Directive constitutes a disguised
restriction on international trade.
United States has repeatedly
protested the Directive both bilaterally and within the framework of the
Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (``Standards Code'') of the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In January 1987, the United States requested consultations
with the EC under Article 14.1 of the Standards Code. These consultations were
held in February and April without satisfactory results. On April
the United States requested the GATT
Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade to investigate the matter. The
Committee met in May, June, July, and September. That investigation failed to
yield a solution because of EC insistence, against the weight of scientific
evidence, that consumption of meat from animals treated with growth hormones is
dangerous to human health. On July 15, 1987, the United States asked for the formation
of a Technical Experts Group (TEG) under Article 14.9 of the Standards Code, in
order to examine the scientific basis, if any, for the EC claim. The EC
blocked, and continues to block, the formation of such a group of experts.
Additional consultations have failed to yield meaningful progress on the
underlying issue. Accordingly, it is appropriate to proclaim countermeasures.
the European Community has provided assurances that all member states will be
permitted to continue, and will continue, their present practices with regard
to the importation of U.S. meat products for an
additional 12 months. Therefore, I am suspending the application of those
measures so long as the EC member states continue their present importation
practices with respect to United States exports of relevant
meat products. I expect the European Community to allow appropriate dispute
settlement procedures to proceed expeditiously.
November 25, 1987, I announced my
intention to raise customs duties to a level of 100 percent ad valorem on as much as $100 million in EC exports to the United States in response to the
implementation of the Directive. I also announced that the products against
which retaliatory action would be taken would be selected after a comment
period ending on December 11, 1987. Finally, I announced
that the sanctions would be effective soon after January
unless the EC had acted by that time to ensure that the Directive does not
impede United States meat exports.
determination shall be published in the Federal Register.
[Filed with the Office
of the Federal Register, , December 28, 1987]
Note: The memorandum was
printed in the ``Federal Register'' of December 30.