The World Trade Organization (WTO) will not rule on whether to allow a 35-percent tariff on Spanish black table olive imports to the United States until November 3, 2021.
Initially, the WTO was supposed to decide whether the anti-dumping tariffs imposed on Spanish producers by the U.S. Commerce Department had merit in June.
However, delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic forced the dispute settlement panel, which was formed by the WTO to mitigate the conflict, to delay until August 19.See Also: Trade News
The day before this deadline, the European Union and the U.S. told the panel they were still discussing the resolution to the dispute and asked to delay its decision until September 16. The panel obliged.
On September 16, the E.U. and U.S. once again told the panel they were still discussing a resolution and asked for an extension until November 3, which the panel also said it would allow.
“Cognisant of the aim of the dispute settlement mechanism to secure a positive solution to a dispute, and of the requirement that Members engage in the dispute settlement procedures in good faith in an effort to resolve the dispute, the Panel agreed to the parties’ requests,” the WTO panel wrote.
The dispute settlement panel’s decision will be made public after it has been circulated to all members of the WTO, which may be after November 3.
The dispute between the E.U. and U.S. stems from anti-dumping complaints lodged by the California-based table olive producers, Bell-Carter Foods and Musco Family Olive Company. These came into force after the U.S. International Trade Commission approved them in July 2018.
Since then, black table olive producers in Spain have accumulated export losses of €150 million.
Responding to the losses, the Spanish Association of Table Olive Exporters and Producers (Asemesa) once again asked the E.U. and Spanish government to negotiate directly with the U.S.
Regardless of when it arrives, the WTO ruling will come in the context of a previous decision reached by the U.S. Court of International Trade, which ruled that the arguments used by the Commerce Department as the basis of the tariff are “not in accordance with law.” However, the department was allowed to submit new evidence within 90 days.