President Trump Announces U.S.-EU Trade Deal: Duty-Free American Beef Exports (Video and Transcript)…

Earlier today President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced a new U.S. trade deal with Europe for the duty-free export of U.S. beef.

Joining President Trump and U.S.T.R. Lighthizer is Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU ambassador to the US, and Jani Raappana, deputy head of mission for the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU.  [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much everybody. We appreciate it. A wonderful day, and a wonderful deal for a lot of people. Today, we’re signing a breakthrough agreement that will make it easier to export American beef into the European Union. We’ve been under negotiation for quite a while. And our beef farmers, we didn’t think were being treated fair, but the European Union stepped up and we appreciate it. And we have great representatives here with us today.

This is a tremendous victory for American farmers, ranchers, and, of course, European consumers because American beef is considered the best in the world.

We are delighted to be joined today by Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Censky, the European Union’s Ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis, and Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the EU Jani Raappana.

I also want to thank Senator John Hoeven, my friend, for being here, along — where’s John? John. Good job, John. Along with the President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Jennifer Houston. Thank you, Jennifer. And the President and CEO of the United States Meat Export Federation, Dan Halstrom. Thank you, Dan, very much. Congratulations.

The agreement we sign today will lower trade barriers in Europe and expand access for American farmers and ranchers. In year one, duty-free American beef exports to the EU will increase by 46 percent. Over seven years, they will increase by another 90 percent. In total, the duty-free exports will rise from $150 million to $420 million, an increase of over 180 percent.

My administration is standing up for our farmers and ranchers like never before. We’re protecting our farmers. We’re doing it in many ways, including with China. You may have read a little bit about China lately.

Agricultural products and exports have increased by more than $10 billion, and beef exports have increased by more than 31 percent. In another major win, we fully opened the Japanese market to U.S. beef. We also opened markets in Tunisia, Morocco, and Australia. I think you’re pretty happy about all of that, right? You’ve never seen anything like that happen before, have you? Huh?

MS. HOUSTON: We have not.

THE PRESIDENT: Not with your other Presidents, you haven’t. (Laughter.)

And we’re reducing burdensome regulations that unfairly impact agricultural producers. When our farmers became victims of unjustified retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries, we provided $28 billion, over a two-year period, in relief. They were targeted, and we took care of our farmers and ranchers. And I signed a historic farm bill, which provides our farmers with certainty and the kind of certainty that they need while supporting increased agricultural exports.

The agreement that we are about to sign keeps one more promise to the great patriots of American agriculture. These are indeed patriots. They’re always targeted first by other countries to try and take advantage of the United States. They’re the first to be targeted, but we take that target off their back.

Opening markets for our farmers is about more than just an industry, it’s about a way of life. Generations of hard work, passion, and dedication have gone into making America the largest producer of high quality beef anywhere in the world, by far. We’re proud of our farmers and ranchers. We love our farmers and ranchers. And with this announcement, we take one more step in giving them the level playing field that they have — looking — they’ve really been looking forward to this for many, many years. You folks know that. They want a level playing field. That’s all they want. And nobody can beat them. So I want to thank you all for being here.

And now I’d like to invite a very great gentleman, a friend of mine, and somebody that’s done a fantastic job for our country, Ambassador Lighthizer, to say a few words. And we’ll follow that up with some of the very high officials from the European Union. Thank you very much. Bob? Thank you.

AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER: Thank you, Mr. President, for being here today and for your leadership in making trade policy work better for all Americans, but particularly our farmers and ranchers.

I’m pleased to be joined today here by Mr. Jani Raappana, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Finland — the EU member state that currently holds the Presidency of the Council of EU — and Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, the Ambassador from the EU.

This agreement will nearly triple the duty-free access of American ranchers to high quality beef in Europe. Initial estimates indicate that U.S. beef will grow by over $270 million a year once the agreement is fully implemented.

With this new, exclusive country-specific quota, American ranchers have a guaranteed market share in Europe. We look forward to the European Union approving this agreement expeditiously.

AMBASSADOR RAAPPANA: Good morning. Mr. President, Ambassador Lighthizer, ladies and gentlemen, I’m honored to be one of the signatories of this EU-U.S. hormone-free beef agreement.
Thanks to this new arrangement, a very substantial amount of existing quota will be ring-fenced for the USA. This provides a solution to our longstanding dispute in the WTO.

Let me underline that the negotiations for this agreement we are conducting is good spirit and it’s a great example of how the multilateral trading system can work for settling trade disputes.

With this agreement, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a positive transatlantic trade agenda and a new phase in the EU-U.S. relationship.

The agreement will be announced to the European Parliament, and we hope to obtain soon — obtain the consent as soon as possible.

I would also like to highlight that strengthening the EU trade relations with the U.S. is a priority of the Finnish presidency.

Finally, I wish to thank all the negotiators on both sides for their efforts. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Please.

AMBASSADOR LAMBRINIDIS: Mr. President, Ambassador Lighthizer, dear friends from the American farming community, ladies and gentlemen: Today is about delivering real, positive, tangible results in the transatlantic trade relationship — the strongest, biggest relationship in the world.

Our companies, our farmers, make more money investing trading with each other than we do with anyone else in the world.

But, Mr. President, last year in the Rose Garden with President Juncker, you said you wanted more. You wanted to strengthen this relationship for the benefit of all Americans and all Europeans. And, in this spirit, we’re here today signing this agreement.

Indeed, it can more than double the hormone-free beef exports of U.S. farmers to the EU. This is a great day for American farmers. It’s a great day for European consumers.

And, of course, we’re working on so many other areas of progress. In soybeans, exports to the European Union have seen a massive increase over the past year. LNG exports have seen a significant boost, as well, in shipments, fortifying security of supply and diversity.

And we’re working on many other things: fortifying the WTO, negotiating on regulatory matters, including standards. Mr. President, I mention standards because, for us, it’s a highlight of the fact that trade is not just about money, it is also about values. It’s about making sure that high standards are used and upheld to deal with unfair competition.

And as we are dealing with fair competition here today, there are countries around the world that are not simply exporting cheap, subsidized products; they’re also trying to export cheap labor standards, weak governance, poor environmental standards.

And the agreement that we signed today shows us, as partners, we can solve problems. And as partners, together in the spirit of this partnership, we can also try to shape a world that is based on strong, open values and strong, open rules.

Thank you very much. It’s a great honor for the European Union to be here.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR LAMBRINIDIS: Oh, may I say, I asked for a hat. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I like those hats.

AMBASSADOR LAMBRINIDIS: And they told me —

MS. HOUSTON: We’ll make that happen.

AMBASSADOR LAMBRINIDIS: They told me I don’t deserve it.

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll get you one. (Laughter.)

MS. HOUSTON: Yeah, we can make that happen.

AMBASSADOR LAMBRINIDIS: I have not earned it yet, they say. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. John, please.

SENATOR HOEVEN: Well, thank you, Mr. President. This is what our ranchers and our farmers, our producers across this great country, are after. These are the kind of agreements that really make a difference. And that’s what this is about. This is about access to markets. We produce the highest-quality beef anywhere in the world. They have great hats, but they have great cattle. They do a great job. Our ranchers across this country are absolutely the best in the world. So when we get access to markets, then they can really go to town and outcompete really anybody, anywhere.

So whether it’s the ranchers or farmers, whether it’s livestock, whether it’s crops, this is the kind of agreement we need. Again, I want to express appreciation to the President and to his whole team — to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, certainly to USTR Lighthizer, to Ambassador Doud, to the whole team. They’re working very hard on behalf of agriculture.

You know about the assistance they’re providing, but that assistance is because our farmers and our ranchers have been targeted by China and other countries. So the administration and USDA is standing up for our farmers while they’re negotiating these kinds of agreements. And I’m anxious to see what they can do with Japan.

And we’ve got to get the USMCA through the Congress. We need the House to bring it up. The Senate is ready to go. We’re ready to pass it with a big, bipartisan vote.

But each of these steps are critically important for our farmers. And again, on behalf of all of us in the Senate that work in agriculture, this is what we want — these kind of agreements — tripling what we can put into the beef that we can export to Europe under this agreement between the United States and Europe.

So again, congratulations. And on behalf of agriculture, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Great, John. Thank you very much.

MS. HOUSTON: Yes, this is a great day for — (the President lowers the microphone) — thank you — (laughter) — for America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. And thank you, Mr. President, to you and all of your trade team for your diligence. Because, for years, it’s been difficult for us to get access to the European Union because of some non-tariff and restricted tariff trade practices.

And we want them to be able to enjoy the high-quality beef that our American farmers and ranchers produce everywhere, that’s enjoyed by the rest of the world. And we’re so excited that our European families — and thank you to all that — are going to be able to enjoy that high-quality beef.

Thanks again, Mr. President, for your support of America’s farmers and ranchers and all to your trade team. And to you all, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Please.

MR. KESTER: Well, that was unexpected, but — (laughter).

Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll — my name is Kevin Kester. I’m immediate past president for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and I’m a rancher from California. I’ll just briefly say that I’m a fifth generation. I have a seventh-generation family on the ranch. And we will directly benefit from this new agreement with the European Union. And so we’re very thankful to that.

So thank you to the EU, and thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Congratulations. Very Good.

Please.

MR. HALSTROM: Thank you, Mr. President. I’m Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. And on behalf of all of our members in agriculture throughout the United States, and our beef producers especially, we’d like to say thank you. This is an honor and a great day for us, with our European Union friends, for expanded access. And we really do appreciate everything that the President and the administration is doing on behalf of the farmers of America. So, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Steve, please.

DEPUTY SECRETARY CENSKY: Thank you. Steve Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. And I again wanted to express my appreciation and our appreciation on behalf of all of U.S. farmers and ranchers for the leadership of you, Mr. President, for making it a priority to stand up and fight for market access for U.S. producers. This is a great day to celebrate, and we look forward to more wins like this.

So thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job, Steve.

(The agreement is signed.) (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Congratulations. And we’re working on deal where the European Union will agree to pay a 25 percent tariff on all Mercedes-Benz’s, BMWs, coming into our nation. So, we appreciate that. I’m only kidding. (Laughter.) They started to get a little bit worried. They started — thank you.

Congratulations. Best beef in the world. Thank you very much.

END 2:27 P.M. EDT

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59 Responses to President Trump Announces U.S.-EU Trade Deal: Duty-Free American Beef Exports (Video and Transcript)…

  1. Elric VIII says:

    Beef need to eat corn as well as grass. If we’re going to export that much beef, President Trump had better get the corn out of our gasoline to feed the beef. Otherwise, if the cost of corn goes up, so does beef and fuel.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Great point … and you can bet POTUS sees both the NEED and the OPPORTUNITY.

      After all, he’s created BOTH!

      About that Opportunity: Cementing and expanding America’s Energy Dominance.

      • It’s about multiplying Energy Demand by Re-Shoring Manufacturing to the USA, expanding Refining Capacity and multiplying LNG Export Capacity. 😆

      • Then it’s using “Beautiful Clean Gasoline” to displace Ethanol, freeing up Corn to expand our Exports of Meat and Grain. 😂

      • And it’s bringing back Ethanol to consume excess Supply whenever OPEC decides to Over-Produce. 🤣

      Liked by 2 people

    • ibobland08 says:

      Cattle do not need to eat corn. It’s arguable that corn is actually unhealthy for them and produces beef that is less healthy.

      Keep in mind maize (corn) is a New World crop that was unknown to civilizations that raised cattle (an Old World animal) until Columbus.

      Liked by 9 people

      • JonS says:

        Calling Dr Gundry! Can’t agree more

        Like

      • Paul B. says:

        Yes. E10/E15 is one thing I disagree with Trump on. I’d like to get grains out of both our cattle and our fuel.

        Liked by 2 people

      • bertdilbert says:

        They feed corn to cattle to fatten them up so they will grade higher (taste better) and fetch a higher price.

        For those that want healthy, eat eye of round, have at it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Larry says:

          They feed corn to cattle to fatten them up faster, and this makes beef CHEAPER and less healthy. I hope at some point we rethink our food supply so that it benefits the health of the consumer as much as it benefits the producer.

          Liked by 2 people

          • bertdilbert says:

            If you want grass fed, you can run to Whole Foods and buy it! Meanwhile you sound like someone who wants government run healthcare, at which point government will dictate what you eat and beef will not be on the menu.

            You seem to be clueless to the fact that well marbled beef is tastier and more tender. People pay more for tastier and tender beef. When you say “we rethink our food supply” you are talking government control. In other words, you are talking like a democrat that wants to control everything.

            I have an idea, let the people decide. If you want lower quality beef, go to the stores that sell it. It is cheaper.

            Like

            • ibobland08 says:

              Not sure what you are talking about. Grass fed beef is significantly more expensive in American grocery stores as it is a specialty product. The only reason grain fed beef is the standard form of beef here is because of corn subsidies. Take those subsidies away and grain fed beef would be a specialty product. Not many people would buy it as it would be more expensive.

              Not saying that SHOULD happen because the reason for the subsidies is to keep more land for crop growing and less for animal grazing. That may or may not be good policy.

              Also while grass fed is slightly leaner, it’s not that much leaner. A ribeye grass fed steak is going to be very fatty.

              As far as taste, it’s a matter of opinion.

              Like

              • bertdilbert says:

                Most of the lamb you see in the supermarket is imported from Australia and NZ. Most American lamb is grain finished and more expensive. My opinion a US choice grade leg of lamb is way better than grass fed, You get what you pay for.

                Like

      • the5thranchhand says:

        Thank you ibobland08. Even the Bible states ‘And HE (GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) will give GRASS in your fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be satisfied’. Deuteronomy 11:15

        Liked by 1 person

        • bertdilbert says:

          Luke 15:23 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.

          “Fatted calf is a metaphor or symbol of festive celebration and rejoicing for someone’s long-awaited return. It derives from the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the New Testament . In biblical times, people would often keep at least one piece of livestock that was fed a special diet to fatten it up, thus making it more flavorsome when prepared as a meal.”

          Liked by 2 people

      • Brian L says:

        Corn fed beef tastes better. If I want gamey, grass fed beef I’ll pay the exorbitant prices that’s demanded for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • InAz says:

        Correct!!

        I have eaten beef feed with grass only and other things cattle naturally eat….. no corn, no other garbage. What a difference in taste. Grass feed only cattle taste 100% better.

        Like

      • InAz says:

        Correct!!

        I have eaten beef feed with grass only and other things cattle naturally eat….. no corn, no other garbage. What a difference in taste. Grass feed only cattle taste 100% better.

        Like

    • Big Jake says:

      Our steaks just went up in price over this.

      Never mind the environmentalist nuts freaking out over water supplies to cattle ranchers (meanwhile, we flood the nation with 1.5M immigrants a year to consume even more). When droughts hit the ranchers take a real pounding.

      At least HEB has its own suppliers of beef—for now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • woodstuff says:

      I use non-ethanol (corn-free) fuel for my pickup and implements. Can’t figure out why leaving out the corn costs 40 cents more per gallon. It’s worth it to me. Ethanol causes corrosion, especially in small engines.

      So yeah, get rid of the corn in our gasoline!

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Federal Gov’t subsidizes corn, so farmers can sell for less than unsubsidized gasoline, maybe?

        Like

      • ristvan says:

        Its actually a simple bit of petrochemical engineering.
        The E10 blend wall was selected for two very good reasons. Ethanol:
        1. Is an octane enhancer replacing polluting MBTE. Means more gallons of minimum octane gasoline per barrel of crude. Main reason pure gas costs more.
        2. Is an oxygenate additive, so reduces tailpipe emissions. E10 was selected because that is what is needed to meet 1+2 for high test gas in the LA basin in summer.

        Follows that E15 makes no sense other than politically.

        And take it from a now 37 year owner of an active Wisconsin dairy farm. The E10 blend wall impact on beef and dairy prices is minimal. 42% of the US corn crop (by weight) goes to ethanol. BUT 27% by weight is returned to the farm as distillers grain (roughage and yeast protein enhanced), an ideal ruminant food supplement. On my farm, that allows us to plant less alfalfa and silage less whole green corn plants. Meaning we can grow more corn and are net net ahead both production wise and financially.

        Like

    • JonS says:

      Actually, corn makes cattle sick, just like us. Farmers feed cows antacids to coax them into eating corn. Grass finished beef on open graze is healthier if you must eat beef

      Liked by 3 people

      • woodstuff says:

        Two of my neighbors raise cattle. Corn is not in the menu. I have seen some people feed corn to horses, but my neighbors don’t. Perhaps it may be different in “feed lots”, but I’ve never seen one.

        Liked by 1 person

    • avman1339 says:

      I despise ethanol polluted gasoline! It doesn’t burn as efficiently as straight gasoline, messes up classic muscle cars and lawn equipment, and is a corrupt way of lining politicians pockets.

      Like

  2. The EU just bought a 1-month reprieve on Auto Tariffs:

    “We’re working on a deal where the European Union will agree to pay a 25 percent tariff on all Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs coming into our nation. … I’m only kidding. They started to get a little bit worried.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. frances says:

    Just a question, is it only for hormone free beef?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1970novass396 says:

      Yes

      Like

    • MfM says:

      I picked up on hormone free also. So the higher priced beef out there is what is worth exporting. Makes sense, there is more shipping costs and if what the EU wants is hormone free and is will to pay for it, sounds like a win.

      Interesting that there were some not so subtle digs at China for their food safety and truthfulness.

      Japan has some incredible beef, but there is not much of it and it’s really pricey. I don’t think anyone was making a dig at Japan.

      Liked by 2 people

    • bkrg2 says:

      Yes, the EU has all kinds of regulations for food. They restrict hormones, GMO ( geneticially modified organisms), pesticides, etc.

      Part of it is due to creating trade barriers. But some of it is likely real. For example, my wife and I were in Paris for a week, our arthritis went away and we were less bloated. Inflamation and bloating came back within 24 hours of eating back in USA.

      Regardless, the beef in EU tastes like crap – steaks, burgers, roasts are all terrible… Once they start eating our steaks, I think exports are going to shoot up way more than estimated from this announcement…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. MostlyRight says:

    Watch until the last lines of the video. Trump is such a boss.

    Like

  5. snellvillebob says:

    I did not see what the EU is getting out of this deal.

    Like

  6. ristvan says:

    Wow. Did not see this coming.
    Is a small rather than BIG deal. But hugely symbolic in many ways. TR Bully pulpit stuff.
    Celebrity Apprentice deja vue. Best President ever.

    Liked by 5 people

    • dallavise says:

      He definitely has all the leverage. Probably just told them: “China is not negotiating, so I am going to have to hit them with the hammer. At the same time, I need another victim, er, I mean trade partner to renegotiate with. How about you, EU? Oh, you want to wait some more? Hmmm, well, that’s an interesting problem. How about you give my farmers more places to sell their wares, and we can discuss the timeline a bit further.”
      Of course, he wasn’t planning on dealing with EU now anyway, but they are so crapping their pants, it doesn’t matter.

      Like

  7. jimboct says:

    I haven’t seen that many cowboy hats in the White House since GWB. Keep Winning Mr. President!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Big Jake says:

    So now my steak is going to be MORE expensive. Awesome. Yeehaw.

    Like

    • JonS says:

      No it won’t. Do you even read this blog? Do you know how many acres of graze are subsidized to keep beef business going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big Jake says:

        Yes, it will.

        Many acres of graze are subsidized. I’d like to see the evidence for that and then run the numbers to determine if this is graft rather than market forces. I suspect what little of it exists is to payoff voters in districts with powerful pols in DC.

        Like

    • tdaly14 says:

      Why would our need be more expensive? They will produce more to ship over seas. That’s a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big Jake says:

        No, they won’t. And no, it’s not a good thing. Resources ARE limited, some by nature and some by regulation. Exporting our food supply just makes it more expensive for US.

        Like

    • tdaly14 says:

      Why would our need be more expensive? They will produce more to ship over seas. That’s a good thing.

      Like

  9. Boknows says:

    This Friday winning is is becoming a fantastic way to end the week!!

    Thank you Mr. President! Our farmers will be blessed by this agreement.

    Eight years…eight loooong years of never seeing any story or policy to help our nation and preserve its proud culture. I looked, I hontestly yearned to find any trend of good news. Everyday the future looked bleaker.

    Beginning on November 8, 2016 it’s been such a breath of fresh air, every day!

    What a Godsend President Trump has been for our nation.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. G. Alistar says:

    Chairman Xi, “well, that just sucks out loud.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. woohoowee says:

    Where’s the beef!? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. sledhead406 says:

    Before this announcement I loved our President more than my super hot wife, now I do even more.
    I come from a long line of cattle ranchers. PDJT is the first president in at least my lifetime to actually do something positive for beef producers.
    We do not ask for, nor expect much, but a fair playing field would be much appreciated.

    Heck, since we finally have an adult in charge I might as well shoot for the moon with requests:
    1) REAL country of origin labelling- people want to know where their beef comes from, lets make it possible.
    2) Multinational packers control the market- ensuring I receive very little for my calves, and the US consumer pays a ton. Lets ease regulations so local packing and feeding is no longer cost prohibitive.
    3) Throw tariffs on foreign beef until they agree to free trade. I watch convoys of Canadian beef headed south, but not one truck is loaded heading north. (If packing restrictions are removed then have no fear, your grocery price will not rise)
    4) Dissolve the current Beef Checkoff scheme that lines the Administrators’ pockets while lies about the industry flow with immunity.

    We will take it from there.

    Liked by 1 person

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