Wednesday, March 3

Citrus is afraid of losing another year if the US keeps tariffs at 25%


Friday, 19 February 2021 – 19:31

The new government of Joe Biden will not move until August, the date of the next review of the measure. It will be harder than we thought, they admit from La Uni

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Citrus loading on a boat in the port of Castelln.
E. TOWERS

The peculiar departure of Donald Trump from the White House a month ago has not, for the moment, implied any change in the tariff policy of the United States Executive. The citrus sector fears losing a third campaign exporters in the US if the new president, Joe Biden, don’t check the measure ASAP, something that at the moment seems unlikely.

The new United States Government led by Joe Biden does not consider it necessary to modify or amend tariffs on European products, among them the Spanish citrus fruits, which the Donald Trump Executive approved in the framework of the dispute over subsidies to Airbus in 2019 and which abruptly eliminated citrus exports to this market.

The United States Trade Representative, together with the affected industry, has agreed that it is unnecessary at this time to review the action of the investigation regarding the enforcement of United States rights in the World Trade Organization dispute over subsidies to goods. commercial aircraft, said the country’s body in last Friday’s edition of the Federal Register, the equivalent of the BOE of Spain, and which is collected by Europa Press.

Therefore, everything points to it will not be until next August, the date of the next review of the measure, when considering the future of these tariffs. During the election campaign, Biden assured that he did not plan to reverse the commercial actions that Donald Trump had undertaken, but that he would review them when he took office.

The United States approved tariffs of between 10% and 25% on a range of European imports, from civil aviation products to agricultural products. These taxes, authorized by the WTO by subsidies to Airbus, mainly affected Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, taxing sectors such as citrus.

In the case of the Spanish citrus sector, 25% duty taxes in October 2019 I drove them out of the North American market, with just 950 tons of lemons and no outlet for oranges and mandarins. Despite the bolt of the US market, the citrus sector was able to compensate for the fall with the increase in demand in the European Union, derived from the state of alarm over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Exports to the United States are the first to start, with early clementines in September, so If the revision of the measure does not take place until August, it will be harder than we thought we could recover this market, recognizes the general secretary of the Union of Farmers and Cattlemen, Carles Peris.

Thus, the citrus sector could add three blank campaigns in the United States at a time when diversification of shipments is key to avoid the great dependence that exists on European markets. If there is no rectification from the United States in the short term, it will be difficult to resume exports in the next season, added the head of La Uni de Llauradors.

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has recognized the concern of the affected sectors after learning that the Biden Administration does not consider it necessary to modify or amend tariffs, as reported by Europa Press.

I understand the concerns of the sector and those affected, but the organization of the new Administration takes a while. I am convinced that in the first European contacts, both by the EC and Spain’s bilateral contacts, with the new US Administration this question will be present and sooner or later we will achieve the elimination of these unfair tariffs, Planas has assured.

We are in contact with the European Commission, to which I have reiterated the matter, so that between now and August, the date of the next review, and the sooner the better, we can negotiate with the United States. the elimination of these unfair tariffs, stressed the Minister of Agriculture, who stressed that this issue is a priority for Brussels.

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