The United States blocked Thursday a demand by the European Community for an international ruling on the legality of U.S. trade sanctions imposed in the dispute over hormone-treated American beef.

Community delegate Tran van Tinh asked for creation of a special inquiry panel by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.The Europeans received overwhelming backing at a GATT Council meeting, but U.S. delegate Michael Samuels said efforts to resolve the dispute should first be made on a private bilateral basis.

That effectively blocked creation of a GATT panel because the 97 member states of the global trade regulatory arrangement traditionally make decisions by consensus.