Spain values ​​that Brussels denounces tariffs on the black olive before the WTO

Spain values ​​that Brussels denounces tariffs on the black olive before the WTO


BRUSSELSUpdated:

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, appreciated today that The European Commission will take this week to the World Trade Organization (OMC) US tariffs on imports of Spanish black olive and he expected Washington to be receptive. "We hope that there is a receptivity on the part of the United States on the issue, we trust and hope, hopefully," said Planas upon his arrival at a Council of European Ministers of Agriculture, adding that "in any case, what is important is that the EC has taken the stake in relation to the protection of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) ".

According to the minister, the measure "will allow the ongoing legal actions by producers in the US to be reinforced", as well as the claim to have their situation reviewed by the imposition of those tariffs.

The Minister of Agriculture considered that Brussels "has done its homework" and he particularly appreciated the work of the European Agriculture Commissioners, Phil Hogan, and Commerce, Cecilia Malmström.

"The tariffs imposed by the United States on Spain's black olives are unjustified, unnecessary and contrary to WTO rules, and tomorrow we will take the case to the WTO dispute system, asking for consultations with the United States," he announced. the commissariat of Commerce in the social network Twitter.

Once the formalization of the complaint has been formalized, the so-called "Volunteer contacts, in this case with the US" and if they did not prosper, a panel would be organized to address the issue, he explained.

For the minister, this step is "a test" with which the EC will defend "the aid decoupled to its farmers and ranchers, who are inside the green box and therefore are compatible for the purposes of the WTO."

According to the minister, the process that has led to the denunciation has not taken long, even though "some of them seem to be slow"; "It is the procedure that is followed in this type of matters", which started in June 2017.

«Damage to exporters»

The Executive's concern, he explained, "has to do with the obvious damage to our exporters." In this context, he recalled that the EC has announced a budget of 2.5 million euros for programs to promote this product in 2019. The EC will try to demonstrate the illegality of the tariff increase by Washington, which imposed new taxes on the Spanish table black olive, which has risen to 34.75%. "We think that the producers of table olives are exactly the same as those of the automobile or steel and deserve all the consideration and protection of the EU," said the minister.

Both the European Union (EU) and Spain had warned on several occasions of the threat that Washington's decision regarding the European aid package could pose, given that it attacks subsidies received by olive producers from direct CAP payments, 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.

United States applies definitively since August 2018 a tariff to imports of Spanish table olives of 34.75%. Almost 20% of this tax is imposed by the 'anti-dumping' investigation initiated by the US authorities and 14.97% is explained by the 'anti-subsidy' investigation.

The European Commission and the Government argue that the aid to Spanish producers of table olives is framed within the decoupled aid of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which are allowed by the WTO for not relying on production. Brussels, therefore, in addition to defending Spanish producers, goes to the international institution to indirectly claim the legality of the EU agricultural aid system.

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