Removing Retaliatory Tariffs Would Preserve Access to this Healthy Food for American Consumers
NEPTUNE, N.J. – October 7, 2019 – The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) is continuing to fight for the removal of Spanish packaged olive oil from the list of products subject to a 25 percent tariff in retaliation for European Union (EU) aircraft subsidies. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has indicated it expects to enter negotiations with the EU aimed at resolving the tariff issue, which may create an opportunity to preserve American consumers’ access to this essential, healthy food.
“Any tariff on olive oil – regardless of its origin – is a tax on the health of Americans,” said Joseph R. Profaci, executive director of the NAOOA. “This tariff also unfairly disadvantages businesses who trade in olive oils from Spain, the world’s largest producer of this healthy food. We’re continuing to advocate strongly for the complete removal of Spanish olive oil from the list of retaliatory tariffs.”
Olive oil has numerous proven health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and cancer. U.S. domestic production of olive oil can only meet a small fraction of consumer demand – about 5 percent – making European imports a necessity. Spain produces nearly half the world’s olive oil, so singling out the country for tariffs will make it that much harder for U.S. consumers to access this healthy food.
There is rare bipartisan support for removing olive oil from these tariffs. In a letter sent to the USTR on August 21, 2019, a group of 19 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle urged no tariffs on olive oil because of the role it has played in “improv[ing] the diet of millions of Americans.”
“Over the past several months, we’ve worked hard to educate policymakers about olive oil, its proven health benefits and the critical role Europe plays in meeting U.S. demand,” said Profaci. “We appreciate that tariffs were not applied to olive oil across the board. At the same time, it’s critical to continue advocating for the removal of all olive oil tariffs to ensure Americans continue to have affordable access to the full range of healthy olive oil products.”
About the North American Olive Oil Association
Established in 1989, the North American Olive Oil Association is a trade association of marketers, packagers and importers of olive oil in the United States, Canada and their respective suppliers abroad. The association strives to foster a better understanding of olive oil and its taste, versatility and health benefits. For more information, visit www.AboutOliveOil.org.