EU exporters brace for fresh Trump tariffs
Donald Trump says he plans to impose a 25-per-cent tariff on selected European agricultural and industrial items imports, leaving olive oil producers in Andalusia fearing for the future.
Around 80 per cent or 1.4 million tonnes of Spain’s olive-oil production comes from the self-governing southern region.
Andalusia is ranked as the world’s most important olive-oil producer.
Last week Trump announced fresh tariffs on €6.8 billion worth of EU imports in retaliation for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that the European Union unfairly subsidised European aeronautical giant Airbus.
The tycoon turned populist plans to impose a 10-per-cent tariff on aircraft from Europe and 25-per-cent on some agricultural and industrial goods from October 18. A final list of the items to be included is set to be published on October 14.
Spain’s olive oil exports might be targeted by Trump’s tariffs but not those of Italy, Greece or sources outside the EU.
“We are worried about this announcement,” the Spanish Food and Beverage Federation (FIAB) said. “We warn of the negative effect the tariffs will have on our exports and the national economy.”
FIAB called for the government to protect the affected industries.
“That 25 per cent tariff means that after October 18 we will lose the US market. We will not be able to rival our competitors,” Pico told the media. “We also do not have the chance to sell 230,000 tonnes in other markets outside the US. For us, this loss is a catastrophe.”
The tariffs have gone down poorly in the UK where the far-right government is angling for preferential trade deals with Washington if it manages to secure Brexit.
Around 23 per cent of exports from British luxury brands in 2017 went to the US, with a majority of firms seeing it as the primary market for future growth, according to the trade group Walpole, which represents more than 250 luxury British brands.
The UK luxury sector creates 160,000 jobs and is bracing for new pressure from the tariffs in addition to a projected loss of £6.8 billion in revenue if a no-deal Brexit happens later this month.
The fashion and textile sector, which forecasts a £1 billion annual loss in revenue from a no-deal Brexit, is expected to see exports worth £35 million affected by Trump’s proposed tariffs, the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) said.
Olive production is key to Andalusia. Picture credit: Flickr