` U.S. Rejects E.U. Demand to Drop Tariffs on Agricultural Goods - Olive Oil Times

U.S. Rejects E.U. Demand to Drop Tariffs on Agricultural Goods

Aug. 19, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

Recent News

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has mod­i­fied its $7.5‑billion list of agri­cul­tural and indus­trial goods tar­geted by tar­iffs, which include olive oil from Spain and table olives from France and Spain.

While some tar­iffs imposed on the United Kingdom and Greece have been removed by the USTR, a sim­i­lar amount of tar­iffs were added to other prod­ucts from Germany and France.

It is a sweet and sour feel­ing, the tar­iffs being con­firmed, but we will still work for their removal and for a con­sen­sual nego­ti­a­tion to end this trade con­flict.- Reyes Maroto, Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism

The USTR also announced that agri­cul­tural exports from the 27-mem­ber trad­ing bloc would con­tinue to face a 25-per­cent tar­iff. Olive oil and table olive exports from the rest of the E.U. to the U.S. will remain unaf­fected.

The deci­sion comes as a relief for some in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, who feared that exist­ing tar­iffs may increase after the USTR said it would revise the list in June.

See more: Olive Oil Trade

However, author­i­ties in Spain bemoaned the deci­sion not to elim­i­nate the duties faced by agri­cul­tural goods and said it would have a dev­as­tat­ing” impact on the econ­omy.

Advertisement

Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, responded to the announce­ment by call­ing on the Spanish gov­ern­ment to con­tinue putting pres­sure on Brussels to nego­ti­ate.

It is a sweet and sour feel­ing, the tar­iffs being con­firmed, but we will still work for their removal and for a con­sen­sual nego­ti­a­tion to end this trade con­flict,” she said.

Her sen­ti­ments were echoed by Luis Planas, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who empha­sized that the country’s agri-food sec­tor was bear­ing the brunt of a con­flict in no way related to its own activ­i­ties” and added that it is a strate­gic mis­take to include food in retal­ia­tory trade actions.”

In 2019, Spain exported $2.1‑billion worth of prod­ucts to the United States. Overall, the U.S. is the third largest mar­ket for Spanish goods out­side of E.U. and China.

On the other hand, the E.U. has expressed some mild sat­is­fac­tion regard­ing the USTR deci­sion, with a spokesper­son telling the press that the U.S. did not exac­er­bate the ongo­ing air­craft dis­pute by increas­ing tar­iffs on European prod­ucts.”

Still, an agree­ment on the mat­ter between the two sides does not look like it is com­ing any­time soon.

“[The] E.U. and mem­ber states have not taken the actions nec­es­sary to come into com­pli­ance with World Trade Organization deci­sions,” Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, said. The United States, how­ever, is com­mit­ted to obtain­ing a long-term res­o­lu­tion to this dis­pute.”

The E.U. has denied this and said they are in com­pli­ance with the WTO’s rul­ing, which found the trad­ing bloc had ille­gally sub­sided European air­craft man­u­fac­turer, Airbus.

Negotiations between the two are unlikely to begin until the WTO has ruled on a sim­i­lar case regard­ing American air­craft man­u­fac­turer, Boeing, which should take place by the end of the sum­mer.

Observers widely expect the WTO to rule in favor of the E.U. and award the trad­ing bloc the right to impose tar­iffs on U.S. exports. Once the WTO deci­sion is announced, then nego­tia­tors are more likely to be able to ham­mer out a deal.





Advertisement

Related News

Feedback / Suggestions