The USA and the European Union have agreed to a temporary suspension of retaliatory tariffs reciprocally imposed during their ongoing Boeing/Airbus subsidy dispute, Olive Oil Times reported on 5 March.

As part of the wider agreement, which followed a conversation between US president Joe Biden and European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, the 25% tariff imposed by the USA on Spanish packaged virgin and non-virgin olive oils and Spanish and French green table olives would be dropped.

The tariffs would be suspended for an initial period of four months.

“As a symbol of this fresh start, President Biden and I agreed to suspend all our tariffs imposed in the context of the Airbus-Boeing disputes, both on aircraft and non-aircraft products, for an initial period of four months,” von der Leyen said.

The move was welcomed by the Spanish olive oil sector, which had recently reported an 80% drop in sales of bottled olive oil to the USA in 2020 compared with the previous year, Olive Oil Times wrote.

Welcoming the decision, Cristóbal Cano, head of the table olive and olive oil sector at the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) and secretary general of UPA Jaén, said it could lead to a rise in olive oil prices, Olive Oil Times reported.

“This deal represents… one more step towards the favourable evolution of prices at the origin of the oil, which are growing throughout the season,” Cano said in a statement.

However, Cano acknowledged that a lot of hard work would be required to recapture some of the market share that had been lost during the dispute.

“The tariffs that we have suffered from [former President Donald] Trump have been totally unfair for the olive oil and table olive sector,” Cano said.

“Now, a new scenario opens up for us, at least in the next four months, where we will work to increase exports with the idea of recovering lost ground,” he added.

In the long-running dispute, the USA and the EU had accused each other of providing illegal subsidies to their respective aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. This had led to retaliatory tariffs being put in place, including those on olive oil.