Spain Takes Aim at N. America's Rising Demand Despite Trump Win

The Spanish olive oil sector is determined to conquer the North American market and new business opportunities despite the anxious economic climate cast by the election of Donald Trump.

Dec. 5, 2016
By Reda Atoui

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The Spanish olive oil sec­tor is deter­mined to con­quer the North American mar­ket and new busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties despite the anx­ious eco­nomic cli­mate cast by the elec­tion of Donald Trump. 

The bil­lion­aire became the President-elect by win­ning the November 8 elec­tion in spite of the fore­casts by polit­i­cal observers. The news of his elec­tion was mainly met with shock and stu­por worldwide. 

Politicians, busi­ness enti­ties, and lay­men alike have been con­cerned with Trump’s harsh pro­tec­tion­ist stance. In fact, the soon-to-be American pres­i­dent whose view on eco­nomic pol­icy is summed up by the slo­gan: America first.’ He has defined him­self as a neo-iso­la­tion­ist’ strongly opposed to lib­eral, ortho­dox eco­nom­ics poli­cies and agreements. 

Trump’s pro­tec­tive approach to eco­nom­ics polic­ing might not impact Spanish exports of olive oil as much as it might impact other coun­tries. Indeed, Trump’s biggest foes in terms of eco­nomic com­pe­ti­tion are China and Mexico; he has stated that he would increase cus­toms duty for these two nations to dis­rupt what he sees as a trade imbal­ance that has cost American jobs. 

Spain will likely not suf­fer as much from the rise in cus­toms duties and, as an eco­nom­ics expert pointed out: Donald Trump can kill some com­mer­cial agree­ments. He can’t kill globalization.”

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Spanish olive oil grow­ers have remained opti­mistic about busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties in North America, where the demand for Spanish olive oil has been steadily increas­ing in the past few years. 

And in Canada, imports of Spanish olive oil have seen a 44 per­cent increase between 2011 and 2015, accord­ing to an ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones study. Canada imports the entirety of its olive oil consumption. 

Canada’s biggest olive oil-con­sum­ing province is Québec — a mul­ti­cul­tural hot spot where res­i­dents have known about the health ben­e­fits of olive oil for a long time and use it exten­sively. The study also stated that the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties for Spanish exporters are found in the pro­duc­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil.

But Spanish exporters have seen even greater promise in the United States, where their busi­ness has grown a whop­ping 145 per­cent between 2011 and 2015. According to Pedro J. Dominguez, unit busi­ness direc­tor at Nielsen, Spain is already the largest olive oil sup­plier to the States.

As a result, Spanish olive oil pro­duc­ers and indus­try lead­ers have made tena­cious efforts toward pro­mo­tional mar­ket­ing cam­paigns in order to boost mar­ket share in the U.S.

Tennis super­star Rafael Nadal has served as Spain’s olive oil ambas­sador since 2015. Enrique Delgado, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of Infaoliva, con­firmed that the Spanish indus­try is strongly pro­mot­ing olive oil towards the US mar­ket and will con­tinue to do so, who­ever sits in the Oval Office.



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