US lawmakers warn against Trump tariffs on olive oil

US lawmakers have urged the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office not to impose new tariffs on olive oil imported from the EU, warning that it could lead to a shortage and high prices.

EU olive oil could face tariffs as high as 100% as Washington waited for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) decision on a list of retaliatory tariffs on EU goods, Olive Oil Times reported on 26 August.

The tariffs were the result of a 15-year-long trade dispute over EU subsidies to Dutch aerospace firm Airbus, which the WTO ruled were improper.

The group of lawmakers had warned that without EU olive oil, the USA could not meet consumer demand (of which domestic olive oil filled just 5%), resulting in high prices and an olive oil shortage, Olive Oil Times wrote.

Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Jodey Arrington, who were leading the group, said the measures would create a massive shortfall, which could amount to as much as 30% of current consumer demand or 100,000 tonnes of olive oil.

Reuters wrote that the group had repeatedly opposed tariffs on olive oil among US$21bn of products that Washington first proposed in April.