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.”
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.