On Wednesday, the USDA-APHIS final rule bringing U.S. beef import regulations in line with OIE standards with regard to BSE was published in the Federal Register. The rule will become effective March 4, 2014. More details are available in this USDA news release and in a Frequently Asked Questions document, which were issued when the rule was first unveiled on Nov. 1.
One of the rule’s major impacts will be removal of the U.S. ban on beef from the member countries of the European Union, which has been in place since 1998. This has been a particularly contentious trade issue in recent years, and lifting the ban could create a more positive atmosphere for U.S.-EU negotiations under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.