Luis Planas confirms the unity and firmness of the Government and the autonomous communities against the imposition of tariffs by the US on the agri-food sector.
The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has chaired at the headquarters of the Ministry, the Advisory Council for Agricultural Policy for Community Affairs, where he has discussed with the councilors of the autonomous communities the main issues that will be addressed in the Council of Agriculture Ministers of the EU.
The Advisory Council has analyzed the situation caused by the decision of the United States to impose tariffs on certain agri-food productions of the European Union, and which significantly affect Spanish products.
As explained by the minister, at a press conference, during the meeting the unity of views between the Government and the autonomous communities was verified. “We are all united in the firmness of the negotiation that the European Union must follow with the United States so that the agri-food sector is left out of this dispute and is not affected by possible commercial sanctions, since it is not the subject of the discussion ”
In addition, the minister has stressed the importance of these tariffs for certain products, both quantitatively and qualitatively, especially for olive oil, table olives and wine, but also for pigs, citrus fruits, cheese or canned
Planas has announced that he will meet with representatives of the agri-food sector and next Wednesday he will travel to Brussels to transmit to the European Commissioner of Agriculture, Phil Hogan, and to the European Commissioner of Commerce, Cecilia Malström the position of the Government of Spain and ask the European Commission firmness in the negotiation, before some sanctions that the minister has described as “unacceptable”.
In the event that the negotiations do not prosper and the commercial sanctions are imposed, the minister will transfer three specific requests to Commissioner Hogan: the private storage of olive oil, since exceptional circumstances arise based on the community regulation; Compensation to producers that are affected by the serious market disruptions that tariffs will entail; and promotional measures, with community and national financing, to seek alternative markets.
The minister and the counselors have analyzed the situation before Brexit, Planas has stressed that for months the Government of Spain has been working to adopt contingency plans in relation to all sectors, with particular emphasis on the agri-food sector and the sector fishing
In this regard, the minister has stressed the need to ensure, from the logistic point of view, that there are no disruptions, especially in relation to perishable products that are, together with fishery products, the first concern in the field of this Ministry.
Planas has assured that the Government is prepared to face any difficult situation, “to which we hope to give a clear and firm response in defense of our national interests.”
On the agenda of the Advisory Councils, a review of the status of the post-CAP reform package is planned, and issues related to forest policy, one of the most important elements for the future of the activity as a whole , within the framework of the CAP, mainly in relation to the fight against climate change, forest fires and the bioeconomy.
In relation to the reform of the CAP, Planas recalled, in statements to the press, that Spain will defend the preservation of funds for the period 2021-2027, fundamental to finance a community policy with a different orientation, in which the struggle against climate change and the defense of the environment will be key elements, as well as the gender approach and the incorporation of young people. As he stressed, much progress has been made in the conversations with the autonomous communities in the elaboration of the National Strategic Plan, “and our intention is to be one of the first countries to present it.
The situation of the African swine fever has also been debated, an issue on which “it is important not to lower our guard”, to avoid regrowth of this disease.
Meanwhile, the proposal for a regulation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) has been analyzed in the Fisheries Advisory Council. In this regard, the minister has indicated that Spain will continue to defend the renewal of our fishing vessels, improving their safety and habitability, which will favor the generational relief of the crews.