Europe hopes for beef deal

EUROPEAN UNION officials said they were still hoping the United States would accept a deal offering American farmers compensation for continuing EU restrictions on imports of hormone-treated beef. The US has threatened to impose punitive import duties on hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of European goods unless the EU agrees by tomorrow to open its market to the hormone-treated beef.

Sir Leon Brittan, the EU's trade negotiator, met trade representatives from the US, Japan and Canada in Tokyo yesterday. He said there was a need to "lower the temperature" of the discussions, which follow the recent US-EU row over banana imports.