Socialists ask the EC actions against the US anti-dumping attack on Spanish olive
Socialist Europarlamentarians have called on the European Commission (EC) to counteract the “anti-dumping” complaint against Spanish exports of table olives in the United States.
As a matter of priority to the European Commission, the Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, Clara Aguilera, and the socialist spokesperson at the International Trade Commission, Inmaculada Rodríguez Piñero, have asked about the measures, “both at the level Technician as politician, who he plans to take to counteract the Trump administration’s protectionist maneuver against Spanish olive. “
The socialists have exposed to the community executive the situation that has occurred after the complaint of the American industry by the European imports of black olive, especially the Spanish one. In the text sent to the Commission, Aguilera explains that the US firms are claiming that thanks to some CAP instruments, Spanish olives are sold at cheaper prices than the US, which affects not only this sector but also may be a precedent for calling into question European exports from other sectors. For his part, Rodríguez Piñero is carrying out negotiations with the General Directorate of International Trade.
“Bearing in mind that in the US, unlike the EU, the anti-dumping measure is first imposed and then its justification is investigated, it is easy to think that the increase in border tariffs will not be delayed”, warned both, recalling that Olive growers are now investing in promotional campaigns in the US.
Complaint without basis
Since the presentation on 21th June to the US authorities of an antidumping and anti-subsidy complaint against Spanish black olives by two Californian olive companies, the Spanish Association of Exporters and Industrialists of Table Olive (ASEMESA) works in the preparation of the corresponding defense. “We want to convey a message of tranquility because we are going to show that the accusations are unfounded and our companies operate within the legality of the EU and the World Trade Organization“, said Antonio de Mora, general secretary of the Association. “ASEMESA is preparing its defense in contact with the national and European administrations, with the assurance that the arguments on which these allegations are based are false, so we are gathering all the necessary information and evidence”, he added. To that end, the Association has been holding meetings with representatives of the State Secretariat of Commerce, which is part of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, and with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment.
The complainant companies are requesting the imposition of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of black olives from Spain, arguing that these imports are being made at low prices and are being subsidized, which amounts to unfair competition
If the examination of the complaint is considered sufficient, two parallel investigations, an anti-dumping and an anti-subsidy investigation, would be opened which could lead to the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of black olives from Spain
At this time, both procedures are in the preliminary phase, which will conclude with a decision on continuation or termination of proceedings without imposition of measures.
Andalusian political and legal support
For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, has transmitted to ASEMESA all his support before the “opportunist, unjustified and unjust” complaint of dumping by the United States. The Ministry, which has put to the service of the sector legal and technical advice, will present “as much information as is necessary” to demonstrate that the aid received by this crop are much lower than those claimed by Californian competitors of the so-called Coalition for Fair Trade Of Black Olives, while being “more than legitimate and compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”.
The adviser has recalled that the sector receives less aid than those claimed by its Californian competitors and that it already pays the highest tariffs
The application of anti-dumping duties could lead to Spanish closure of this market for five years, with an estimated loss of 350 million euros (700 million euros, in the worst case, if this closure was extended for a second lustrum)
Spain is the leading exporter of this crop with 38 percent of world trade, with the United States, Italy, Russia and Germany as the main destinations