Feds start antidumping probe of imports of Spanish olives
July 13, 2017
• To determine if Spain olive exporters should face duties
• Acts on complaints by Central Valley olive growers
The Commerce Department is probing whether ripe olives from Spain are being “dumped” at artificially low prices in the U.S., hurting Central Valley olive growers.
“The Department of Commerce will ensure a full and fair assessment of the facts, and, if the rules are being broken, will act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices,” says U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The investigations are based on petitions filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, whose individual members are Musco Family Olive Company of Tracy and Bell-Carter Foods Inc. of Walnut Creek.
The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 78 percent and 223 percent.
In the investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of ripe olives from Spain are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
In a second investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether Spanish producers of ripe olives are receiving unfair government subsidies.
If the Commerce Department determines that Spanish ripe olives are being dumped into the U.S. market, and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of ripe olives from Spain are causing injury to the U.S. industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.
In 2016, imports of ripe olives from Spain were valued at an estimated $70.9 million.
Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to “antidumping” duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs, are subject to “countervailing duties” aimed at directly countering those subsidies.