Our long international nightmare is over. The U.S. and EU have reached an agreement to end the world's most entertaining trade dispute, which began with George W. Bush's lame-duck decision to raise import duties on Roquefort cheese:
The new US administration has now agreed to drop the import duty threat, due to come into force this week, and which would have affected to a lesser degree a range of EU products, from truffles and mineral water to chewing gum.
Under the provisional deal, the EU will keep the hormone-treated beef ban, which it claims poses a health threat, but will quadruple imports of non-hormone treated American beef in four years.
Cheese farmer and lefty icon Jose Bove (above) described the deal as evidence that the U.S. has "accepted that health is more important than trade," even though this is actually an expansion of trade and between all this beef and cheese, I'm not sure who's getting healthy.
But in any event, kudos to negotiators for ensuring that neither American populism nor European ludditism will bring down the transatlantic alliance. Time for a celebratory cheeseburger.
JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images