Procedure : 2018/2566(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0145/2018

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/03/2018 - 16
CRE 14/03/2018 - 16

Votes :

PV 15/03/2018 - 10.13

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0137/2018

further to Question for Oral Answer B8‑0007/2018

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the US attack on EU farm support under the CAP (in the context of Spanish olives) (2018/2566(RSP))

Esther Herranz García, Albert Deß, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Michel Dantin, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Gabriel Mato, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Carlos Iturgaiz on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the US attack on EU farm support under the CAP (in the context of Spanish olives) (2018/2566(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the investigation announced by the US Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission on 13 July 2017 to determine whether exports of ripe Spanish olives are dumped on the US market and receive distorting subsidies, following a petition from the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives regarding alleged unfair competition by Spanish exports,

–  having regard to the US International Trade Commission report of 5 August 2017 determining that Spanish exports of ripe olives cause damage and could be a threat to the Californian sector,

–  having regard to the preliminary decision of the US Department of Commerce of 21 November 2017 establishing provisional countervailing duties against Spanish exports,

–  having regard to the preliminary decision of the US Department of Commerce of 18 January of 2017 establishing provisional antidumping duties against Spanish exports,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009(1),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on the US attack on EU farm support under the CAP (in the context of Spanish olives) (O-000006/2018 – B8 0007/2018),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the US antidumping and, in particular, countervailing duty investigations against ripe Spanish olives set a very dangerous precedent for other agricultural products that also benefit from agricultural subsidies under the CAP umbrella;

B.  whereas there is the risk that other similar investigations might be undertaken by the US administration, thereby jeopardising bilateral agricultural trade relations and calling into question the whole European agricultural model;

C.  whereas a final outcome of the countervailing duty investigation could trigger similar investigations by other third countries, including for agri-food products other than ripe olives, which would damage the efforts made by the EU to bring the CAP into a non-trade-distorting system at international level;

D.  whereas the European Union has undertaken several CAP reforms that were aimed, among other objectives, at bringing its agricultural policy into line with the WTO rules through the introduction of drastic changes, in particular switching from a coupled to a decoupled support system;

E.  whereas subsidies allocated from the CAP to primary producers of table olives in Spain would qualify as ‘green box’ support according to Annex II of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, since they are decoupled from production and are non-trade-distorting;

F.  whereas those agricultural subsidies would not qualify as product-specific under Article 2 of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures;

G.  whereas the investigation launched against Spanish olives case is one of more than 50 trade procedures already opened by the USA within the framework of its new protectionist policy conducted under the slogan of ‘America first’, which are leading to unjustified and disproportionate commercial restrictions that hinder the transatlantic relationship;

H.  whereas there are serious doubts about whether the formula used by the US investigators to calculate the preliminary antidumping margin is compatible with the WTO rules;

I.  whereas the US investigation is focused on the three main Spanish manufacturers which accounted for 70 % of Spanish exports to the USA, and the antidumping and countervailing duties may affect all exports of ripe olives by Spain, which is the world’s main producer;

J.  whereas the USA has imposed provisional antidumping duties of an average of 17.13 % on the three Spanish companies under investigation, and countervailing duties of an average of 4.47 % on any Spanish exporter;

K.  whereas the Spanish manufacturers could lose the US market that has provided them with a turnover of EUR 70 million per year, while competitors from third countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia or Turkey, would benefit from the export gap caused by the US decision;

L.  whereas a negative final outcome of the USA investigations would lead to an implementation period of up to five years, which could be prolonged for a further five years and would put an end to the Spanish exports;

M.  whereas, in addition to the export losses, the three companies are facing very high lawyer’s fees, which already stand at over EUR 5 million;

N.  whereas the competitiveness of the Spanish exports, whose market share has progressively increased in the USA in recent years, is the result of efforts made by these companies to reduce costs by means of investment in cutting-edge technology and quality improvements, and is not a consequence of European subsidies;

O.  whereas the increase in Spanish exports to the USA (+ 20 % since 2013) has enabled the creation of thousands of jobs and provided economic relief to areas of Andalusia that were among the hardest hit by the economic crisis;

P.  whereas an average of 83 % of ripe olives produced in Spain is exported, which indicates the vital importance of international markets for this product;

Q.  whereas imports account for 50 % of US olive consumption and Spanish olives make up 37 % of the 100 million kilograms consumed in the country, which are mostly used in the production of processed products, such as pizzas;

1.  Asks the Commission to give strong advisory support to the Spanish companies affected by the US investigations;

2.  Calls on the Commission to clarify the compatibility with the WTO rules of the formula used by the US investigators to calculate the antidumping margins;

3.  Asks the Commission to study the possibility of challenging the US decisions before the WTO dispute settlement body;

4.  Calls on the Commission to take all possible diplomatic action to defend the non-distorting nature of the European Union’s agricultural subsidies;

5.  Supports the instigation by the European Union of similar investigations into US agricultural exports to the EU, focusing on those agri-food products that receive trade-distorting subsidies from the US administration and are imported by the EU in significant amounts, such as ethanol, almonds, durum wheat and maize;

6.  Expresses its serious concerns about the negative consequences that the US countervailing procedure may have for the whole European agricultural model;

7.  Strongly criticises these and other restrictive US trade measures recently adopted by the US administration against EU imports, as these clearly represent a new more protectionist policy which is not in accordance with WTO rules; considers that this will create more general instability in worldwide trade and risks seriously hampering trade relations with the European Union;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Commission and the United States authorities.


OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 608.

Last updated: 13 March 2018Legal notice