`Brussels Ramps up Pressure on Washington to Drop Black Olive Tariffs - Olive Oil Times

Brussels Ramps up Pressure on Washington to Drop Black Olive Tariffs

Feb. 9, 2022
Ephantus Mukundi

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The European Commission is pil­ing pres­sure on the United States to remove the tar­iffs imposed on Spanish ripe table olive imports in 2018.

Brussels’ pres­sure on Washington comes in the wake of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) November 2021 rul­ing that said anti-sub­sidy tar­iffs were ille­gal. However, the orga­ni­za­tion ruled that the sep­a­rate anti-dump­ing tar­iffs could remain.

We are putting a lot of pres­sure on the United States to elim­i­nate the tar­iffs as quickly as pos­si­ble and bring its leg­is­la­tion into com­pli­ance with the WTO res­o­lu­tion.- John Clarke, direc­tor of inter­na­tional affairs, Directorate-General of Agriculture

Despite the rul­ing, the U.S. does not seem keen to fol­low the WTO’s orders, with many olive pro­duc­ers and their allies in California call­ing for the U.S. to resist the rul­ing.

Adrián Vázquez, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the cen­ter-right Ciudadanos party and a spokesman for the Agriculture Committee, said the com­mis­sion should be force­ful with the U.S. to make sure the coun­try com­plied with the WTO rul­ing.

The com­mis­sion says that it is going to give it a rea­son­able time, but the sec­tor and the fam­i­lies have been wait­ing for four years,” he said. They have lost money, and many farms have closed. The rea­son­able thing is not to give extra time. They have said that they will com­ply on January 19, and we have to start putting pres­sure now.”

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Echoing Vázquez, the com­mis­sion said it would have no option but to take tough mea­sures against the U.S. if there are delays in lift­ing the tar­iffs.

We are putting a lot of pres­sure on the United States to elim­i­nate the tar­iffs as quickly as pos­si­ble and bring its leg­is­la­tion into com­pli­ance with the WTO res­o­lu­tion,” John Clarke, the direc­tor of inter­na­tional affairs of the Directorate-General of Agriculture, told the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, as the bat­tle over remov­ing the tar­iffs rages on, the Spanish Association of Table Olive Exporters and Producers (Asemesa) esti­mates that pro­duc­ers of black olives in Spain have lost more than €150 mil­lion since 2018.

Despite these losses, the com­mis­sion has ruled out com­pen­sat­ing Spanish black olive pro­duc­ers.

Asemesa’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Antonio de Mora, said that black olive farm­ers have suf­fered heavy losses. He insisted that his pri­or­ity is remov­ing the tar­iffs and return­ing to nor­malcy.

Initially, the E.U. feared that a favor­able rul­ing to the U.S. would embolden Washington to chal­lenge the entire agri­cul­tural sub­sidy pol­icy under the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy.

According to Clara Aguilera, an MEP from the cen­ter-left Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE): It was a trade war from minute one, and the dam­age is done. Commercially, com­pa­nies have lost posi­tion, and some­one would have to com­pen­sate them.”



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