Tuesday, March 23, 1999 Published at 01:24 GMT
Business: The Economy
Banana war spreads to beef
The US says hormone-treated beef is safe
The move is in response to the European Union's continuing refusal to allow the import of American beef treated with growth hormones. The UK Government adheres to the ban but believes it should be dropped.
The new targets are mostly European farm products, including ham, Roquefort cheese and truffles but also extends to flowers, glue and motor cycles.
The threatened measures would double their price on American markets. However, the list is only a provisional one to be cut down to a final list of around $300m worth of exports if the US decides to go ahead with sanctions in May.
UK opposes ban
However, he said the UK would not defy the EU position and unilaterally drop the ban.
Terry Lee, head of exports at the Meat and Livestock Commission, said that in Britain the possible losses amount to 4,000 tonnes of pork worth £8m.
BBC North America correspondent Richard Quest says the sanction list bears little connection to the beef industry and has been designed to cause as much pain in Europe as possible and force the EU to the bargaining table.
The two sides have been talking about some form of compromise. There is a proposal to compensate the US for losses during any transitional period and to allow for the labelling of US beef when it's sold in Europe.
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