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European Ministers of Agriculture will address the situation of Spanish black olive exports to the US

European Ministers of Agriculture will address the situation of Spanish black olive exports to the US

2017/03/10 - The Secretary-General for Agriculture and Food, Carlos Cabanas, stressed yesterday in Madrid the efforts of the Spanish Government towards the situation created by the process opened by the United States to the Spanish exports of black olives. In this regard, Cabanas advanced that this issue will be addressed at the Spanish request in the next meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union, in order to involve all Member States.
According to the Spanish Secretary-General for Agriculture, "we want all Member States to be informed of the state of situation of this problem."

In this sense, Cabanas recalled that the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama), along with the State Secretariat of Commerce, the Autonomous Communities and the sector, have been working for some time to respond to this information they have requested by the US authorities. Even the Minister Isabel García Tejerina has already transferred the importance of this issue to Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and several European Ministers of Agriculture.

In this regard, Cabanas noted that a joint letter from the Trade and Agriculture Commissars has also been sent to the United States Secretary of Commerce, transferring the European concern on this issue.

In his view, "we not only we have table olive exports at stake but the entirely European model," since decoupled aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is included in the green box (allowed subsidies) of free trade. "This is something that has been clearly defended by the European Union and accepted as part of the rules of the game," he said.

Andalusian Agriculture Minister Rodrigo Sánchez Haro emphasized that this is an opportunist accusation because "it takes advantage of the protectionist situation of President Trump," which is unjustified because it formulates "baseless and unjust allegations only arisen against the Spanish olives and not against other producing countries that also export to the United States."

In addition, according to Sánchez Haro, the American operators in the table olive sector also receive subsidies from the US Department of Agriculture "with the same characteristics" as the subsidies granted by the European Union, and stressed that subsidies granted to Spanish companies "are protected by international, European and state legality."
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