The Strategist

USA to ban Spanish olives

08/07/2017 - 15:11

The US Department of Commerce is currently investigating. The Department is trying to find out whether Spanish companies sell olives to Americans at dumping prices. The European Commission has already interfered with the matter in order to support its producers.

The US International Trade Commission, which also takes an active part in this investigation, held a vote on Friday, after which it was decided to proceed to judicial consideration of the case, Bloomberg reported. And this means that Americans can impose fine import duties on Spanish olives before the end of this year, experts say.

American investigators are concerned that foreign manufacturers literally flooded the US with cheap olives. Spanish olives and oil produced from them are sold in the United States at a lower price than in Spain itself. And American producers are simply not competitive in such conditions.

For the Spaniards, the punitive measures of the United States can be of considerable significance. Spain is the largest producer of olives and olive oil in the world. The USA acts as the largest market for Spanish products, it accounts for almost a quarter (24%) of exports. Last year, the States 167 thousand tons of olives and olives bought from other countries. Almost half (80.2 thousand tons) came from Spain. The USA also imports olives and olive oil from Greece (19%), Mexico (6.3%), Morocco (6%) and other countries.

According to Bloomberg, there are less than 900 farms that are engaged in the cultivation of olives in the States themselves. Almost all of them are concentrated in California.

Experts do not exclude that the investigation of the US Department of Commerce can result not only in imposition of penalties on the import of Spanish olives, but also to suspension of their imports into the United States. According to the Spanish association of exporters Asemesa, Spain can lose 350 million euros within five years because of these measures.