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06 Mar Spain urges talks on U.S. tariffs

The move comes after the US Trade representative announced that it would not review any of the current tariffs on European imports.

The Spanish government has contacted the European Commission, urging it to open talks with the United States on suspending import duties on Spanish olive oil and table olives and finding a “balanced and mutually beneficial solution” to the trade dispute.

The announcement comes days after the US trade representative said he would not lift any of the tariffs imposed on a number of imported goods from the European Union back in October 2019. The tariffs come as a result of a WTO ruling that found that four European Union countries, including Spain, illegally subsidized aircraft manufacturer Airbus, giving it an unfair advantage over its American rival Boeing. As a result, a 25% tariff was imposed on imports of Spanish first-and second-pressed olive oils, as well as green olives from Spain and France.

According to Spanish producers’ associations, the tariffs continue to threaten Spain’s position as the number one source of U.S. olive oil imports. Exports of Spanish bottled olive oil to the United States in 2020 decreased by 81% compared to 2019. However, this does not prevent Spain from exporting a record 431,500 tons of olive oil to countries outside the European Union in the 2020/21 agricultural year.

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