The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, has stated that the Government and the European Commission remain open to reaching an understanding with the United States and always safeguarding the interests of farmers.
The withdrawal of tariffs on Spanish black olives
The European Commission has requested the establishment of a compliance panel to assess the measures taken by the United States to comply with the report of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Panel, which ruled against the US tariffs on Spanish ripe olives.
Spain and the EU consider that the US has so far failed to comply with the WTO Panel ruling and continues to apply illegitimate tariffs that drive Spanish olive exporters out of the US market.
The aim of the compliance procedure is to call on the United States to comply with the WTO Panel’s ruling and, therefore, to eliminate its tariffs on Spanish black olives.
“The Spanish Government and the European Commission remain open to reaching an understanding with the United States in order to always safeguard the interests of our farmers,” declared the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez.
Once established, the compliance panel will have 90 days to issue a final ruling. If the US fails to comply with this final ruling or decides to appeal the compliance panel’s report without a result, the EU could consider retaliatory measures.
The US imposed countervailing duties on EU black olive imports in 2018 on the basis of claims that were found to be mostly erroneous by a WTO Panel report adopted in December 2021. The US announced its intention to implement the Panel’s recommendations and rulings and claimed to have completed this implementation by January 2023.
However, the European Union disagreed and requested consultations with the US on the matter in April 2023; these consultations did not result in any progress towards resolving the dispute. The compliance panel requested by the EU today is the next step under the WTO procedural framework in the ongoing dispute settlement proceedings.