The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) and 80 other American trade organizations have written to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to ask for an exemption to impending tariffs on products shipped from Europe before the start of October.

The NAOOA argues that the 25-percent tariff recently imposed on some Spanish olive oils, which will come into force on October 18, will impact the prices of olive oil that left Spanish ports as early as mid-September and hurt American importers and consumers.

“These new duties will not be borne by the E.U. producer or manufacturer of those now-dutiable goods, but by the American importers which have already purchased the products and, very quickly, by American consumers,” the signatories of the letter wrote to Robert Lightheizer, the head of the USTR.

In order to mitigate the potential impacts of these tariffs on importers and consumers, the NAOOA and the rest of the signatories recommend exempting goods that left European ports prior to October 2 from the tariffs.

“To prevent the cost of the tariffs from falling entirely on American businesses and consumers, we ask that all goods exported from Europe October 2 or earlier be exempt from tariffs,” the signatories wrote.

They cited a similar exemption that was provided to recently-tariffed Chinese goods back in May, which was done with the express purpose of protecting American businesses and consumers.

“This was an appropriate technical accommodation,” the signatories wrote. “We ask for its use again in this case.”


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