May 27, 2020

Sanchez doesn't get a cent of EU aid for sectors affected by Trump's tariffs

A positive response, but without concrete commitments. This is the balance of the visit made yesterday by the acting Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, after going to Brussels in search of support for the Spanish agri-food sector. Our country is one of the hardest hit by the commercial reprisals announced by Donald Trump, which can have an impact of 200 million euros for our companies.

Although there is still some room to avoid this escalation, since the US will wait until the 18th, Planas went yesterday to the community capital to prepare the ground with the aim of requesting compensatory measures if the worst ends up happening. In any case, the response of the Government of Spain to the crisis may not have sat quite well in Brussels, speaking even some voices of electoral interests. In this sense, the Acting Executive of Pedro Sánchez would have overreacted in the face of public opinion before the proximity of the November 10 elections. The Government even called consultations with the US ambassador in Madrid to show his strong rejection of the tariffs authorized by the WTO. It may be the beginning of a long battle and this issue will also be on the agenda of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Twenty Eight in Luxembourg next Monday.

The celebration of the plenary session of the Committee of the Regions in Brussels during this week has also been taken advantage of by the regional presidents of the communities most affected by this new escalation of the commercial war to ask the Community Executive for help.The minister did not want to do any kind yesterday of calculation on how much these compensatory measures could amount to. After meeting with the Commissioners of Agriculture, Phil Hogan, and Commerce, Cecilia Malmström, Planas described as "responsive and sensitive" the response of the European authorities to the crisis. "The Commission is currently evaluating the potential impact of the countermeasures announced by the United States on the products concerned, particularly in the agricultural sector," said Daniel Rosario, spokesman for the European Commission.

In some cases it rains on wet. The record harvest in the 2018-2019 campaign has caused the plummeting of olive oil prices. Therefore, and at the tip that may be imposed by the tariffs imposed by Donald Trump, the Spanish minister has asked the Community Executive to launch aid for private storage as soon as possible, although the price thresholds required are not yet reached. European regulations In addition, the minister also asked for help in promoting Spanish olives and storage, since the rise in tariffs a year ago has caused the sector to have lost 40% of the market share. Other products affected are wine, citrus fruits, pigs and cheese.

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