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Copa and Cogeca welcomed the Spanish Farm Ministers’ rejection of the United States’ Department of Commerce decision to accept the imposition of import duties on Spanish table olives, and called for action.

Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “It is good news that both the Spanish Minister and EU Commission support our calls to stop Spanish olives facing total taxes of 34.75% to enter the U.S. market, as it clearly amounts to protectionism. We are very disappointed with the U.S. Department of Commerce decision on Friday to impose anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on Spanish table olive imports especially since the product is very popular amongst U.S. consumers. It is unjustified and disproportionate and it goes against our common interest to develop good trading relations with the U.S.

“The key reason why Spanish imports of black table olives are so competitive is because producers have invested a lot in innovative techniques. They should not be penalized for this,” added Pesonen.

Implementation of the decision is still waiting final confirmation by the U.S. Department of Trade at the end of July. But Copa and Cogeca warn that Spanish imports have already faced additional duties totaling 21.6% since January this year, causing Spanish exports to the U.S. to drop by as much as 42.4% in the first quarter of 2018. This is having a disastrous impact on the Spanish market, growth and jobs. To make matters worse, the gap is not being replaced by U.S. production but by a 33% increase in imports from Morocco, 50% from Egypt and 82% from Turkey.

Copa and Cogeca consequently call on the Commission to step up action against these unjustified measures that amount to protectionism.

Source: Copa and Cogeca

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