`As Deadline Passes to Decide Future of U.S. Tariffs, Spanish Table Olive Producers Suffer - Olive Oil Times

As Deadline Passes to Decide Future of U.S. Tariffs, Spanish Table Olive Producers Suffer

Sep. 14, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The World Trade Organization’s dead­line to decide the future of a 35-per­cent tar­iff imposed by the United States on black Spanish table olive imports has come and gone, but the sec­tor con­tin­ues to feel the strain.

The inter­na­tional trade body orig­i­nally said it would deliver its deci­sion on the anti-dump­ing tar­iffs, which were imposed by the United States in November 2017, by the begin­ning of June 2021. However, this dead­line was pushed back to the end of August as a result of the Covid-19 pan­demic.

The sec­tor has accu­mu­lated export losses of €150 mil­lion since the tar­iff night­mare began with the first rates imposed on black olives in November 2017.- Asemesa, 

Now as the sec­ond week of September begins, the WTO con­tin­ues to remain silent on the issue, lead­ing the Spanish Association of Table Olive Exporters and Producers (Asemesa) to once again demand the Spanish gov­ern­ment and European Union nego­ti­ate directly with the U.S. to have the tar­iffs removed

The sec­tor has accu­mu­lated export losses of €150 mil­lion since the tar­iff night­mare began with the first rates imposed on black olives in November 2017,” Asemesa said in a press release.

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The table olive pro­duc­ers’ asso­ci­a­tion also argued that the gov­ern­ment should not count on the U.S. Commerce Department, the entity within the gov­ern­ment that imposed the tar­iffs, to elim­i­nate them on its own, as has been widely spec­u­lated in the Spanish media.

Every year the tar­iffs are reviewed admin­is­tra­tively,” Antonio de Mora, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Asemesa, told El País. The pro­vi­sional results of this review sug­gest that this reduc­tion could take place, but it will not be imme­di­ate, since we will have to wait for the first quar­ter of 2022 and it will not ben­e­fit all the com­pa­nies affected.”

Asemesa also warned that the Commerce Department was unlikely to elim­i­nate the tar­iffs at its own dis­cre­tion. The orig­i­nal tar­iffs expire in 2023, at which point the Commerce Department will decide whether or not to extend them until 2028.

We once again urge the gov­ern­ment of Spain and the E.U. to inten­sify con­tacts with the U.S. in order to reach an agree­ment sim­i­lar to the one achieved in the con­flict of the aero­nau­ti­cal indus­try, which was resolved with good­will and with the sus­pen­sion for five years of all tar­iffs on agri-food prod­ucts,” said de Mora. This is the only way to solve the prob­lem.”

In June, the U.S. and E.U. reached a deal to sus­pend mutu­ally imposed tar­iffs, which had been put in place as a result of the esca­lat­ing dis­agree­ment over ille­gal sub­si­dies pro­vided to air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ers, Boeing and Airbus.

At around the same time as this deci­sion was reached, a U.S. court ruled in favor of Spanish table olive pro­duc­ers after it decided that the basis for the Commerce Department’s tar­iffs were not in accor­dance with law.” However, it pro­vided 90 days for the Commerce Department to sub­mit new evi­dence to jus­tify them.





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