By Milagros Jurado
The latest measure by the Donald Trump government to protect its agro-food productions to the detriment of international trade has been a severe blow to the Spanish table olive sector, whose exports will be taxed with a tariff. The first reactions to a measure that had been brewing since this summer, when Californian olive-table companies filed a complaint against the Spanish olive, accusing it of unfair competition, have not been delayed. Thus, the Union of Small Farmers and Cattle Ranchers (UPA) urges the EU to express itself immediately and forcefully against this “illegal and unjust” tariff, which will represent a commercial barrier of between 2 and 7%.
The United States has imposed tariffs on the Spanish olive, considering that this product is imported below its market price thanks to the aid it receives from the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which translates into unfair competition for the rest of producing companies.
UPA has demanded that the European Union urge the American Government to withdraw the tariff, in addition to review the entry of all products that are imported into the EU from the United States
In a statement, UPA calls this anti-dumping measure “proof” by the Trump Administration and has warned that if the EU does not give a resounding response at the highest level, this escalation of false protectionism will continue and could be extended to other sectors. “The measures are absolutely unjust”, they have assured from UPA, “and they damage a very important sector for the economy of many regions”. In 2016, Spain exported to the USA olives worth 70.9 million dollars (60.6 million euros).
“This new tariff goes against the general rules of the World Trade Organization and shows the incongruity of the EU, usually favorable to make concessions to imports from third countries”
From UPA warn that this type of measures only try to favor certain American companies, in this case the Californian Bell-Carter Foods and Musco Family Olive. “We would not be surprised”, they explain, that those same American companies now come to our country to buy olives “at ridiculous prices”, as a consequence of the limitations that Spanish companies may have.
For UPA, the measure imposed by Trump is a direct attack on the Common Agricultural Policy itself, which has been endorsed by the WTO and which also has its counterpart policy with the US Farm Bill, endowed with 488,631 million dollars for the period 2014- 2018.
For his part, the Andalusian Minister of Agriculture, Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, described this situation as “complicated” and explained that since its inception, the Junta de Andalucía, through the CAPDER, “has been providing support to the sector through of a team of professionals who are working to demonstrate the legality of aids that comply with the law and are included in the World Trade Organization, since they are not production aid and, therefore, recognized by international regulations ” Sánchez Haro has also reported the steps being taken in Brussels by the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, in defense of the sector and among whose first measures highlights the meeting with the Commissioner of Commerce to convey the seriousness of this matter.
For the counselor, it is an unfair situation, since some legal aid is questioned and commercial obstacles are only imposed on Spanish companies that, coincidentally, are the maximum exponent of this sector and those with the largest market share in the United States. .
Sources: UPA and CAPDER
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: