US states are going to have to find a new source for their death penalty equipment after the EU confirmed plans to prevent such items being sold to American firms. The EU move is seen as one of the first major examples of an EU-wide embargo being placed on goods destined for American consumption.
The EU measures involve bans on the export of pentobarbital and sodium thiopental to the US for use in executions. These drugs are the backbone of the US execution system and in many cases the US relies upon imports from European manufacturers. Even before the new EU measures were announced, US officials were running short of the drugs.
In the short-term, the EU’s move could disrupt US executions. But in the long-term, it’s likely that new suppliers will emerge in other jurisdictions. What is significant, however, is that the EU is attempting to impose strict restrictions on certain exports to the US, a move that could seriously jeopardise trade deals in future.