WTO ruling on the dispute over Spanish ripe olives
Spain Applauds the WTO’s Decision and Asks the United States to Remove the Imposition of Tariffs on Spanish Ripe (Black) Olives

The WTO has ruled that the measures adopted by the United States against Spanish ripe olives are inconsistent and that the anti-dumping tariffs and countervailing duties should be removed. The Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism has called upon the U.S. Administration to eliminate these tariffs.

11/19/2021

Today, the World Trade Organization (WTO) circulated its panel report in the case brought by the European Union and pushed by the Government of Spanish against the trade protection measures put into place against Spanish ripe olives in the United States. The report ruled that the United States acted inconsistently and, as such, calls for the elimination of tariffs against the Spanish ripe olive as antidumping and countervailing measures.

 
Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism Reyes Maroto, called this decision great news, adding, “We have always maintained that the countervailing measures against the Spanish ripe olive are entirely unjustified, and this is exactly what the WTO has confirmed.”
 
“This is a big step in reaching a definitive solution with the U.S. Administration in order to eliminate these measures, which are doing such great harm to exports of Spanish ripe olives. We will continue to work with ASEMESA – the Association of Exporters and Industry of Table Olives – and other associations to defend the interests of Spanish olive producers. We will use all of the means available to us to put an end to these tariffs.”
 
The report concludes that the measures put into place by the United States are inconsistent with WTO regulations and, as such, recommends that the United States bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the WTO’s GATT 1994, SCM Agreement, and Anti-Dumping Agreement.
 
This ruling backs the arguments presented to the WTO Panel by the European Union. It is worth adding that this proceeding has also been disputed by the U.S. Court of International Trade when Spanish exporters presented the case.
 
Dispute on Spanish Ripe Olives
 
In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission began separate anti-dumping and countervailing investigations affecting the import of ripe olives from Spain. As a result of these investigations, on August 1, 2018, the United States imposed anti-dumping and countervailing measures, considering production subsidies on the good to be unfair competition.
 
These measures have had a significant impact on Spanish exports to the United States over the course of the past three years, decreasing more than 70% since 2017, when the total value of exports was approximately $70 million.
 
In January 2019, following the irregularities in the proceedings of the investigation of the U.S. Administration and the questioning of Common Agricultural Policy subsidies, the European Commission, at the request of the Government of Spain, decided to request consultations with the United States before the World Trade organization. These consultations were unsuccessful, and in June 2019 a WTO Panel was established.
 
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Original press release from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism in Spanish

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