N. America

U.S. Trade Rep. to Hold Public Hearing on Olive Oil Tariffs

May. 1, 2019
By Daniel Dawson

Recent News

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is hold­ing a public hear­ing on May 15 in Washington to seek com­ments on their list of $11 bil­lion of pro­posed tar­iffs on European Union imports, which includes olive oil.

Joseph R Profaci, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), told Olive Oil Times that he has already requested to give public tes­ti­mony at the hear­ing. May 6 is the last day to submit requests to tes­tify.

The NAOOA is also cir­cu­lat­ing a peti­tion to get olive oil removed from the list of pro­posed tar­iffs. The peti­tion has received 250 sig­na­tures in the first 10 days and Profaci said he expects that number to increase sig­nif­i­cantly as the trade group con­tin­ues to raise aware­ness of the issue.

The United States con­sumed 315,000 tons of olive oil last year, of which about 200,000 tons were imported from the European Union.

“If olive oil ends up on the final list despite our efforts, there is no telling what the tariff would be, or how much prices might rise,” Profaci said.

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The USTR guide­lines sug­gest that tar­iffs could be any­where from $0.034 per kilo­gram to $0.176 per kilo­gram. However, this will be deter­mined by a World Trade Organization ruling, which will be handed down later this year.