`U.S. Lawmakers Warn Against Trump Tariffs on E.U. Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

U.S. Lawmakers Warn Against Trump Tariffs on E.U. Olive Oil

Aug. 26, 2019
Isadora Teich

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A bipar­ti­san group of United States law­mak­ers have urged the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office not to impose new tar­iffs on olive oil imported from the European Union. These law­mak­ers warn the tar­iffs could lead to an olive oil short­age and sky­rock­et­ing prices in the U.S.

European Union olive oil could face as high as 100 per­cent tar­iffs as Washington waits for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) deci­sion on a long list of retal­ia­tory tar­iffs on E.U. goods. The tar­iffs are the result of the 15-year-long dis­pute over E.U. sub­si­dies to Airbus, which the WTO rules were improper.

The bipar­ti­san group of 14 Democratic and five Republican mem­bers of the U.S. House of Representatives has warned that with­out E.U. olive oil, the U.S. can­not meet cur­rent con­sumer demand. Domestic olive oil pro­duc­tion fills just five per­cent of demand in the U.S. mar­ket.

The group is led by Bill Pascrell (D‑NJ) and Jodey Arrington (R‑Texas). They warned that these mea­sures would cre­ate a mas­sive short­fall, which could be as much as 30 per­cent of cur­rent con­sumer demand or 100,000 tons of olive oil.

The short­age would raise prices, which would neg­a­tively impact American food retail­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and restau­rants. The law­mak­ers also cited their con­cerns about sky­rock­et­ing prices and a short­age of olive oil.

Without European imports of olive oil, the United States can­not meet cur­rent con­sumer demand,” Pascrell and Arrington wrote in the let­ter. Large price increases can push many con­sumers and food man­u­fac­tur­ers to choose food oils that lack the health qual­i­ties of olive oil.”

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