`U.S. Seeks to Erase Tariffs on Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

U.S. Seeks to Erase Tariffs on Olive Oil

Mar. 20, 2014
Nancy Flagg

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In June 2013, U.S. President Obama and the European Union launched nego­ti­a­tions on a trade agree­ment intended to spur eco­nomic growth. Last week, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a detailed report describ­ing the U.S. objec­tives for the nego­ti­a­tions. Among the goals listed in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T‑TIP), was the elim­i­na­tion of tar­iffs on agri­cul­tural prod­ucts between the US and the EU.

The report indi­cated that eras­ing tar­iffs would pro­vide a level play­ing field for our agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers,” and it specif­i­cally cited the ben­e­fits to olive oil pro­duc­ers. U.S. olive oil pro­duc­ers would also ben­e­fit from tar­iff elim­i­na­tion, since U.S. olive oil is sub­ject to $1,680 in duties per ton on ship­ments to the EU, but their EU com­ple­tion pay only $34 per ton on ship­ments to the United States,” the report said.

Kimberly Houlding, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the American Olive Oil Producers Association, was pleased to see the ref­er­ence to olive oil trade. She saw the cita­tion as an indi­ca­tion that the admin­is­tra­tion was tak­ing notice” of the report issued by the United States International Trade Commission in September, 2013 that iden­ti­fied fac­tors, such as tar­iffs and sub­si­dies, that affect the com­pet­i­tive­ness of American pro­duced olive oil in the global mar­ket.

T‑TIP nego­ti­a­tions began in 2013 and the fourth round of talks con­cluded on March 14, 2014. The next step occurs on March 26 when President Obama, European Council President Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barroso dis­cussed T‑TIP at a sum­mit in Brussels.

There is no spe­cific dead­line for reach­ing agree­ment on the trade part­ner­ship. A spokesper­son from the USTR indi­cated, We are com­mit­ted to work­ing as fast as pos­si­ble, so we can bring the eco­nomic ben­e­fits of T‑TIP to our work­ers, con­sumers, and firms in real time. But the sub­stance will dic­tate our pace, and we have not iden­ti­fied a spe­cific end-date.”


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