Luis Planas receives support from the agri-food sector to urge the EC to firmly defend Spain’s interests against US tariffs.
The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has met with representatives of cooperatives, agricultural professional organizations and agrifood entities affected by the “unfair” and “unacceptable” additional tariffs that the United States will apply to the agri-food sector and aeronautical as a result of the Airbus case.
After meeting with the autonomous communities, the minister has continued meetings with the affected agri-food sectors, mainly olive oil, table olives, wine, pigs, cheeses and citrus fruits, as well as other Spanish foods, to inform the Government of the actions Spain has carried out since last week the United States announced the provisional list of products to which it would impose additional tariffs.
He pointed out that today he will travel to Brussels, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez, to meet with the European Commissioner for Commerce, Cecilia Malmström, and with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan. The objective, highlighted by Planas, is to convey, in the name of the Government, and of the affected sectors the firm will that the European Commission defend the interests of Spain and the affected sectors to achieve a postponement or cancellation of the tariffs that , if not produced, will be final on October 18.
We do not want to enter into a trade war,” said the minister, but “our interests must be defended.”
For the Spanish agri-food sector, the eighth largest exporter in the world, foreign markets are strategic. Therefore, he has hoped that, through negotiation, the United States finally decides not to apply tariffs.
On October 14 in Geneva (Switzerland), within the framework of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Commission (EC) and the United States will meet to resolve the matter.
The minister has hoped that this list will be totally or partially canceled, as there is a “crossed” panel in favor of the EU, whose arbitration award will be known in the next 8 or 10 months. Planas has referred to the open panel at the moment, similar to that of Airbus, in this case for the aid granted by the US. to Boeing.
“The reasonable”, said Planas, is that from the point of view of the operation of an orderly trade, based on rules, “we reach an agreement”, because, he added, the agri-food sector does not have to pay the consequences of a conflict derived from the aeronautical sector.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Cooperatives Agro-alimentary, agricultural professional organizations (Asaja, COAG and UPA), as well as agri-food entities Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), Spanish Wine Federation (FEV), the Spanish Federation of Associations of Producers Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables (Fepex), the Spanish Association of the Industry and Trade Exporter of Olive Oil (Asoliva), the Association of Exporters of Table Olives (Asemesa), the National Federation of Industries Lácteas (Fenil) and the Business Federation of Meat and Meat Industries (Fecic).