THE tariffs placed on Andalucian table olives and olive oil, as well as many other European food produces, have been scrapped for five years after a new agreement between the US and the EU.

The United States and the European Union agreed terms on an end to the 17-year feud by suspending tariffs on European food products, including Andalucian olives, for five years.

Plans for a permanent solution are also to be discussed between the two states and the World Trade Organisation according to Reuters.

The news came last last Friday after a phone call between newly elected US President Joe Biden and president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

According to European figures, a total of 4.5 billion has been paid by businesses so far on items such as wine and cheese thanks to the tariffs placed during Donald Trump’s presidency.

The news will be a relief for the olive industry in Andalucia, which reportedly lost around 45% in profits over the past two years due the US’s actions.

According to Spain’s association of olive producers and exporters (Asemesa), exports of black olives to the US fell by 42.4% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2017, dropping from 6.9 million kilos to 4 million kilos.

This was a result of tariffs ranging from 7.52% to 27.02% placed on olive oil and table olives placed by the United States thanks to a 17-year long battle with the EU over, of all things, aircraft manufacturing.

Pork products, Spanish wine and cheese were also affected, with the export of pork products specifically dropping 70.4%.

The tariffs were the latest in a series of tit for tat moves by the two countries as a result of a battle between the two aircraft builders, Boeing (US) and Airbus (EU), which has been raging since 2004.

The two manufacturers were angry at each other for their receipt of government subsidies from their respective governments, causing claims of unfair commercial competition.

Co-operativas across Andalucia are now hoping that exports to the United States will now return, and customer that at its peak consumed over 400,000 tonnes of Spain’s ‘liquid gold’.


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