Procedure : 2018/2566(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0151/2018

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

Florent Marcellesi on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

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

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the interim decision taken by the US Department of Commerce, which has imposed a tariff on Spanish olives after concluding that the subsidies which the olive producers received in the EU meant that olive products could be imported into the United States at below market price,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on US measures 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 on 22 June 2017 the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, consisting of the two largest US processors of ripe olives, filed a petition with the Department of Commerce, alleging that the olive industry in the US is materially injured or threatened by reason of LTFV (less than fair value) subsidised imports of ripe olives from Spain;

B.  whereas the decision by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to impose tariffs of variable percentages on olive products exported by Spanish firms is based on the idea that aid to the olive sector granted under the CAP could constitute unfair competition vis-à-vis US producers, as there exists a reasonable indication that the industry in the US is being materially injured by imports of ripe olives from Spain that are allegedly sold in the US at LTFV prices;

C.  whereas the ITC has imposed provisional restrictions on this product and a final decision by the Department of Commerce is expected in early April 2018;

D.  whereas the decision calls in question, in an unfair and arbitrary manner, the EU’s farm support programmes and could potentially affect all recipients of payments under the CAP;

E.  whereas to ensure a level playing field anti-subsidy and anti-dumping analyses must also consider social and environmental factors including labour rights, social protection, environmental standards and animal welfare;

F.  whereas the Commission has confirmed on several occasions that the support measures targeted by the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations (basic payments scheme, payments for young farmers) do not constitute a disturbance of price levels on specific agricultural markets or of international trade;

G.  whereas the CAP measures under investigation are not product-specific and therefore not countervailable under Article 2 of the WTO agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures;

H.  whereas the CAP has been transformed by means of several reforms in order to bring most support measures into line with the WTO’s Green Box requirements, and it is today designed so as to ensure full compliance with WTO agreements;

I.  whereas CAP payments are a crucial tool to direct public money towards provision of public goods that the market alone is unable to pay for, among them environmental protection, animal welfare and human health;

J.  whereas the CAP should promote food sovereignty both within the EU and elsewhere in the world, via local and sustainable production, and should guarantee fair prices for producers, both of which contribute to maintaining active rural communities;

K.  whereas without a system of public support for local and regional production there would be further drastic change in the fabric of European agriculture and rural communities;

L.  whereas the Spanish olive sector is significant for the economy and employment, especially in the regions of Andalusia, Valencia and Extremadura; whereas the resilience of the sector and of the rural areas of those regions could be enhanced through an agricultural model based on diversification and social, economic and environmental sustainability;

M.  whereas subsidies play an important role in both US and EU agricultural policy; whereas the US is also a significant user of Green Box subsidies in agriculture; whereas both agricultural policies are export-oriented and based on an agro-industrial production model typical of large companies;

N.  whereas the announced measures risk triggering a spiral of trade retaliations on both sides of the Atlantic; whereas this would ultimately damage both EU and US producers; whereas the Trump administration has also announced import duties on other sectors in addition to Spanish olives; whereas this escalation puts at risk long-established and carefully negotiated WTO agreements;

1.  Expresses its concern that the US is calling in question the EU’s CAP, since public support plays an important role in both the US and the EU, and stresses that this should not create a precedent that would affect other European agricultural products that fall under the CAP;

2.  Calls on the US authorities to withdraw the announced measures and to re-establish a mutually constructive approach in this domain to the mutual benefit of the citizens on both sides of the Atlantic;

3.  Calls on the Commission to take all necessary steps, both at bilateral level and in the WTO, to defend our system of CAP support, which has been approved under the WTO Green Box procedure;

4.  Stresses that making CAP payments conditional on, inter alia, environmental, animal welfare, human health, social and labour standards not only directs public money towards public goods, but also ensures that our farm support system is WTO Green Box-compatible, and therefore provides farmers with certainty in the farm support system; stresses that in the upcoming CAP reform all payments should remain linked to strong conditionalities;

5.  Calls on the Commission to work closely with the Spanish authorities to support the firms which are the target of this aggressively protectionist measure;

6.  Calls on the Commission to establish measures that favour the internal market and internal consumption through short supply chains, and to prioritise support for small and medium-scale farms and their workers, so as to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability and the preservation of the EU family farm model;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the new CAP prioritises a diverse agriculture which is focused on agroecology rather than monocultures and seeks food sovereignty through local production and consumption, as opposed to import dependence and export orientation, in order to ensure coherence between the EU’s agricultural, trade and development cooperation policies;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the US authorities.


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