WTO Finds US Duties on Spanish Olives Illegal

On 19 November 2021, the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) panel report ruled that US countervailing duties applied on imports of ripe olives from Spain, put in place during the previous administration in 2018, are illegal under WTO rules. EU now expects that the US will implement appropriate steps to bring itself in compliance with the panel's recommendations.

Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “The WTO has upheld our claims about anti-subsidy duties being unjustified and in violation of WTO rules. These duties severely hit Spanish olive producers, who saw their exports to the US fall dramatically as a result.”

On 1 August 2018, the US Department of Commerce imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties of between 30% and 44% combined on imports of Spanish ripe olives depending on the company involved. The EU challenged the duties before the WTO on grounds that they were contrary to certain provisions of the GATT 1994, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) and the Agreement on Anti-Dumping. 

You can reach the press release of the European Commission here.

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