A Reuters report says the Mad Cow Disease outbreak in the 1990s will likely keep the European Union from easing its strict rules on food safety. That caution will likely continue even though U.S President Trump is threatening to slap tariffs on car imports from the EU if the countries don’t start importing more U.S. farm products.
European food and farming exports to the United States are worth $12 billion more than the imports the bloc brings in from the U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told EU officials last month they should adapt food regulations to reflect “sound science.”
However, Reuters says there is very little optimism that the EU will agree. Europeans remember the BSE outbreak and will not accept any lowering of its food standards. A trade specialist with the European Policy Center says no politician will support a trade deal that’s perceived as dropping those stringent standards.
Trump has long complained the EU position on trade is “worse than China.” Earlier this week, the president said he’s setting sights on Europe, which raises the prospect of another trade war.