John Sessler (left), chairman of the American Olive Oil Association, at the United States International Trade Commission in Washington last December.
The investigation by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) into the competitiveness of the olive oil industry is scheduled to be delivered Monday to the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Since a hearing in Washington last December, where twenty witnesses including producers, chemists and importers testified on matters ranging from subsidies and tariffs to olive oil quality and fraud, the USITC has been collecting information on the 2008 – 2012 practices of major olive oil suppliers worldwide, emphasizing the U.S., Spain, Italy and North African producers.
The report will address four areas:
The fledgling U.S. olive oil industry has its sights set on more than the two percent of domestic demand it currently supplies, and it has been lobbying for a “level playing field” to compete with subsidized European farms and some exporters who, they claim, occupy supermarket shelves with lower quality, often mislabeled products.