`Europe, U.S. Agree to Freeze Tariffs for Four Months - Olive Oil Times

Europe, U.S. Agree to Freeze Tariffs for Four Months

Mar. 5, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The United States and European Union have agreed to sus­pend the $11.5 bil­lion (€9.65 bil­lion) worth of retal­ia­tory tar­iffs rec­i­p­ro­cally imposed dur­ing the ongo­ing 17-year dis­pute over sub­si­dies to air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ers Boeing and Airbus.

The 25-per­cent tar­iff imposed by the United States on some Spanish olive oils and Spanish and French green table olives will be dropped after U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen on Friday.

A new sce­nario opens up for us, at least in the next four months, where we will work to increase exports with the idea of recov­er­ing lost ground.- Cristóbal Cano, sec­re­tary gen­eral, UPA Jaén

As a sym­bol of this fresh start, President Biden and I agreed to sus­pend all our tar­iffs imposed in the con­text of the Airbus-Boeing dis­putes, both on air­craft and non-air­craft prod­ucts, for an ini­tial period of four months,” von der Leyen said.

We both com­mit­ted to focus on resolv­ing our air­craft dis­putes, based on the work of our respec­tive trade rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” she added. This is excel­lent news for busi­nesses and indus­tries on both sides of the Atlantic and a very pos­i­tive sig­nal for our eco­nomic coop­er­a­tion in the years to come.”

The news has been eagerly wel­comed through­out the Spanish olive oil sec­tor, which recently reported an 80-per­cent decrease in bot­tled olive oil sales to the U.S.

A pre­vi­ous report from the Spanish Association of Table Olive Exporters and Producers (Asemesa) found that table olive exports from Spain to the U.S. had fallen by 30 per­cent in the first half of 2020, com­pared with 2019.

Cristóbal Cano, the head of the table olive and olive oil sec­tor at the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) and sec­re­tary gen­eral of UPA Jaén, hailed the deci­sion as great news for the indus­try and said the deci­sion could even increase olive oil prices.

This deal rep­re­sents… one more step towards the favor­able evo­lu­tion of prices at the ori­gin of the oil, which are grow­ing through­out the sea­son,” Cano said in a state­ment. The elim­i­na­tion of tar­iffs sup­poses, in our opin­ion, remov­ing from the equa­tion a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion that some used to main­tain an inter­est­ing sit­u­a­tion of low prices at ori­gin.”

See Also: Trade News

While the news pro­vides Spanish pro­duc­ers and exporters plenty of rea­sons to cel­e­brate, Cano acknowl­edged that a lot of hard work would be required for them to recap­ture some of the mar­ket share that has been lost in the past 16 months.

The tar­iffs that we have suf­fered from [for­mer President Donald] Trump have been totally unfair for the olive oil and table olive sec­tor,” Cano said. We have been immersed in a trade war with which we had noth­ing to do and yet we have paid for the bro­ken dishes.”

Now, a new sce­nario opens up for us, at least in the next four months, where we will work to increase exports with the idea of​recov­er­ing lost ground,” he added. Bottled olive oil and table olives will once again occupy their right­ful place in stores and North American kitchens.”

The United States remains the third-largest mar­ket for olive oil in the world. Data from the International Olive Council shows that olive oil con­sump­tion is con­tin­u­ing to trend upward in the coun­try. At the same time, anec­do­tal evi­dence sug­gests that the extra vir­gin cat­e­gory is pick­ing up steam.

Cano said that the ces­sa­tion of tar­iffs comes at just the right moment for Spanish pro­duc­ers to refo­cus their efforts on cap­tur­ing a larger share of the lucra­tive mar­ket.

Our sec­tor is again given the pos­si­bil­ity of recov­er­ing part of the lost path based on exports of an extra vir­gin olive oil of the high­est qual­ity and value,” he said. Because we must remem­ber that the con­sumer, more and more, is will­ing to pay the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and the excel­lence.”





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