The threat of Trump’s tariff imposition looms once again over Europe

U.S.A. is preparing to reexamine the previous tariffs, imposed on certain European products as “retaliation” to the commercial dispute over grants to the aeronautical companies BOEING (US) and AIRBUS (EU), by expanding them.

According to the alarming and highly probable scenario, with a time frame by the 15th of February, the Trump administration intends to expand the imposed tariffs on European products, already including the Spanish standardized (bottled) olive oils and table olives. This tariff expansion may impact the following:

a) the countries of origin (therefore, they may include Italy, Greece, Portugal, France, Cyprus, etc., which weren’t initially included),

b) the height of the tariffs (currently 25% ad valorem),

c) the inclusion of bulk olive oil (therefore, canceling the initial Spanish strategy to open/ expand their olive oil packaging units on U.S.A. soil, to legally circumvent the tariff),

d) the expansion on other products.

The reason for the escalation of this trade war, is the U.S.A.’s government assessment that the overall revenue collection of tariffs is significantly lower than the expected.

Global olive oil market has already started to show signs of imbalance with the demand being lower than the supply. The U.S.A. olive oil market constitutes the “locomotion” of global demand, and if it stops the damage may prove irreparable.

In these critical circumstances, specific steps need to be taken with the intervention of all involved parties, namely:

  • Olive oil producing European countries, which constitute a family. There have much more common interests that unite them, rather than the ones that separate them,
  • The whole value chain (filiera),
  • All entities that represent olive oil, table olives and the other Mediterranean food products.

Any imposition of tariffs would unfairly penalize European olive oil producers, as well as American consumers; last but not least, lets keep in mind that the olive cultivations are vital:

  • As a source of income for producers and,
  • As a Mediterranean ecological forest