With beef prices in the U.S. at record highs, and with lots of families unable to afford hamburger, much less steak, some good news from the realm of international trade: the United States is about to resume imports of beef from Ireland. The Financial Times:
Ireland is the first EU country to re-enter the market following the formal lifting of the US ban on European beef imports in March last year. It joins countries such as Canada, Australia and Mexico, which already export beef into the US market, the world’s biggest.Ireland’s breakthrough was welcomed by the EU, which said it showed recognition of the “robust, comprehensive and successful measures put in place by the EU to eradicate BSE [Mad Cow Disease]”. But the EU commissioners for health, trade and agriculture said the US needed to extend the access to all EU countries.
Big agriculture will no doubt do its best to slow things down, but we seem to be well on the way toward reopening our beef markets to the whole of the European Union.That’s the thing about free trade: it makes things cheaper and gives consumers more choice.