British beef is on the way to the U.S. for the first time in at least two decades, at a time when food remains asticking point between the countries in post-Brexit trade talks.
The first shipment left on Wednesday from a plant in Northern Ireland, and trade could total 66 million pounds ($85 million) over the next five years, the U.K. government said in astatement. The U.S. had banned British supplies since a mad-cow disease outbreak in Europe in 1996, but liftedrestrictions earlier this year.
“The free trade deal we are negotiating with the U.S. will create a host of export opportunities for British agriculture,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said. “We are seeking an ambitious and high-standards agreement that benefits farmers and delivers for consumers.”
Agriculture talks with the U.S. have proven tense as the U.K.’s transition agreement with theEuropean Union comes to an end on Dec. 31. Washington wants more market access for its farm products in any free-trade deal, sparking food-standard concerns in Britain. Chicken washed with chlorine and hormone-treated beef have become synonymous with U.S. food and animal-welfare standards that are deemed inferior to those in the U.K.
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