The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, said today that the file that the European Commission (EC) plans to open in the World Trade Organization (WTO) for tariffs imposed in the United States on Spanish olive oil "is ready for your deposit. "
The EC prepares for months a formal complaint to this organization for the measure imposed by the Administration of Donald Trump, which according to Spain and Brussels lacks technical and economic basis, an increase in the rate of up to 34.75% in force since August 1, although the producers were already subject to provisional tariffs several months earlier.
A measure that the minister described today as "bad news" given that "has led to a reduction in the last nine months of 45%" of Spanish exports of this product to the United States, in contrast to the latest production data , 9% more, in what supposes "a record harvest", emphasized the minister.
"I am going to remind the Commissioner again (…) of the need to continue with the help and support," Planas said on his arrival at the Council of Ministers of the branch that is being held in Brussels, and assured that he will put the accent on the situation of this product in the US market during the meeting.
Both the European Union (EU) and Spain have warned on several occasions of the threat that this decision of Washington may pose with regard to all European aid, given that it attacks aid received by olive producers from the direct payments of the Common Agricultural Policy. (PAC), not linked to production.
These are part of the so-called "green box" in the WTO and, according to its definition, have no impact on international trade.
In addition, Planas explained that he has proposed to the EC that the table olive be part of the products that receive subsidies coupled to production, in the debates on the reform of the CAP, which will come into force as of 2020.
The EC, on the other hand, announced last week a program to promote European agri-food products in 2019 that includes a budget of 2.5 million euros for table olives in non-EU countries.
Planas also mentioned the "peculiar" situation of olive oil, with an increase in production up to 1.59 million tons, 23% more, while "the whole of world production has been reduced by 7.6% "
"This means that we not only produce half of the world total, but this can have a positive effect from the point of view of Spanish exports, prices and markets," he concluded.