Trade talks resume with European Union; U.S. scraps beef ban

Posted by Rob Hotakainen on November 4, 2013 

European Union officials are happy that the U.S. has lifted its ban on EU beef in advance of the second round of trade talks set to begin next week in Brussels. Here, cattle line up for food at a feed yard between Garden City and Dodge City, Kansas.

KEITH MYERS/KANSAS CITY STAR/MCT — MCT

After getting disrupted by the federal government shutdown, trade talks between the United States and the European Union are back on track, with a second round of negotiations set to begin on Nov. 11 in Brussels, officials announced today.

"I am glad to see our talks are going ahead full speed," said EU Ambassador to the U.S. João Vale de Almeida.

The two sides began the talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Washington in July and planned to meet for the second time in October. But those plans were postponed when the U.S. didn't have enough negotiators due to the government shutdown.

The Brussel talks, which will run five days, will be followed by a third round of negotiations in Washington, set for Dec. 16-20.

While agriculture issues are expected to be among the toughest facing negotiators, the EU said it is happy that the U.S. has decided to lift its ban on beef from the European Union. U.S. officials announced the decision on Friday.

The U.S. market has been closed since 1998 because of fears of mad-cow disease in Europe, and EU officials said its opening is "a welcome, albeit late, step to abolish the unjustified ban and to re-establish normal trading conditions."

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