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Austrian farmers concerned about EU-U.S. beef deal

Christian Fernsby |
Austrian cattle farmers are concerned that the recently-announced beef deal between the European Union (EU) and the United States could impact their livelihoods, according to an industry interest group.

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The deal announced on Friday means that the U.S. will be able to increase its beef exports to the EU, which will eventually reach up to 35,000 tons annually within seven years.

In response, Werner Habermann, head of Austrian industry representative group Arge Rind, warned of "cheap imports" and urged Austrian consumers to remain loyal by purchasing domestic meat.

Habermann said Austrian beef farmers have already had to contend with cheaper imports from Brazil and Argentina due to the disparity in exchange rates, local media reported.

In addition, a looming Brexit means Irish farmers are trying to develop markets within the EU and are offering low-cost beef. Other countries such as Poland are also exporting more beef to Austria.

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