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California olive growers win duties on Spanish olives

January 25,2018-
Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 9.23.30 AMCalifornia based  Bell-Carter Foods and Musco Family Olives got the US Commerce Department to slap tariffs on ripe Spanish olive farmers this week, in a preliminary ruling.

In what is becoming a trend the Trump administration appears to be ready to take action even though this may cause an escalation in trade disputes.  This week tariffs were announced on Chinese solar panels as well as Korean washing machines.

Some fear this could be the start of a trade war retaliation by countries affected by these targeted US tariffs.

In this case the two large family-owed growers were the petitioners in a long running dispute.California growers say the Spanish olive industry dumps their olives at less than fair value propped up by subsidies, hurting San Joaquin Valley farmers.

Although the ruling wont be final until June the US is imposing duties of up to 20% on Spanish olives imported into the US. For now that will mean only a cash deposit.

Spain imported about $71 million worth of olives last year.The rulings will be subject to review by the International Trade Commission.

Olives are a $40 million crop in Tulare County and $160 million statewide. Farmers harvest about 36,000 acres.

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