`Trade Commission Investigates Olive Oil Industry 'Competitiveness' - Olive Oil Times

Trade Commission Investigates Olive Oil Industry 'Competitiveness'

Oct. 4, 2012
Nancy Flagg

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The global com­pet­i­tive­ness of the U.S. com­mer­cial olive oil indus­try will be the sub­ject of a U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) investigation.

Consumption of olive oil in the U.S. has risen approx­i­mately 40 per­cent in the past ten years and although pro­duc­tion in the U.S. has also grown, most U.S. con­sumers buy imported oil, accord­ing to the USITC press release issued October 1, 2012.


Dave Camp, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, sub­mit­ted a let­ter request­ing that the USITC assess the cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions con­fronting the U.S. industry.”

The Committee on Ways and Means, which includes mem­bers from olive oil pro­duc­ing California, wants to make sure that U.S. inter­ests are com­pet­i­tive… and find out how the olive oil indus­try is run in other coun­tries,” accord­ing to spokesper­son Sarah Swinehart.

Peg O’Laughlin, Public Affairs Officer for the USITC says that the request for this type of study is not unusual at all.”

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The USITC will col­lect infor­ma­tion on the 2008 – 2012 prac­tices of major olive oil sup­pli­ers world­wide, empha­siz­ing the U.S., Spain, Italy and North African producers.

The study will address four areas:

  • Review com­mer­cial olive oil pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing and con­sump­tion data.
  • Analyze the inter­na­tional import and export mar­kets, includ­ing trade between Europe and North Africa, tar­iffs and olive oil classifications.
  • Assess fac­tors affect­ing U.S. con­sump­tion, includ­ing stan­dards, grad­ing and pricing.
  • Compare com­pet­i­tive strengths and weak­nesses of the major olive pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing coun­tries, includ­ing indus­try orga­ni­za­tion, olive oil pro­cess­ing and tech­nol­ogy, gov­ern­men­tal influ­ences, pro­duc­tion costs, mar­ket­ing approaches and exchange rates.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is an inde­pen­dent Federal agency that inves­ti­gates trade issues. The Trade Commission will hold a pub­lic hear­ing in Washington, DC on December 5, 2012 and will com­plete the final report by August 12, 2013.

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