The North American Olive Oil Association has launched a petition to get olive oil removed from the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) proposed list of retaliatory tariffs against the European Union.
“It would be tantamount to a tax on the health of American consumers, who are the ones who will be most adversely impacted by tariffs on European olive oils,” the group said in a statement.
“The USTR should recognize the importance of olive oil consumption to Americans’ health, and the fact that there is no realistic alternative source of supply,” the NAOOA added.
Olive oil was included in a long list of tariffs that the USTR has proposed as a result of a World Trade Organization decision that went against the 28-member trading bloc, which includes Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.
Last year Americans consumed 315,000 tons of olive oil, of which nearly 200,000 tons were imported from E.U. countries. The World Trade Organization will announce its decisions on the proposed tariffs later in the year.