The US Department on Commerce initiated an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into Spanish olive imports on 13 July after allegations that ripe olives were being dumped into the USA.

Additionally, the DoC would be determining whether producers in Spain were being unfairly subsidised, the department said in a statement.

“The USA is committed to a free, fair and reciprocal trade with Spain,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The DoC will ensure a full and fair assessment of the facts, and, if the rule are being broken, will act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices.”

The petitions for a probe were filed on 22 June by the Coalition for Trade in Ripe Olives, consisting of Bell-Carter Foods, Inc. and Musco Family Olive Co., which suggested dumping tariffs of 78% and 223%, respectively.

Bell-Carter CEO Tim Carter said in a June statement that the company had been “severely impacted” by “dumped and subsidised” Spanish olives.

The DoC’s International Trade Commission would make its preliminary determinations by 7 August, with possible countervailing duties scheduled for September and antidumping duties for November.

DoC estimated that in 2016, ripe olive imports from Spain to the USA were worth US$70.9M.

The investigation was the 51st antidumping and countervailing probes launched by DoC since President Donald Trump took office in January, the department said.

Among the currently ongoing probes is the investigation into biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, which the US biofuel industry claims are hurting domestic producers.