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U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Ripe Olives from Spain


Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiations of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of ripe olives from Spain are being dumped in the United States and whether producers in Spain are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.

“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,” said Secretary Ross. The United States is committed to a free, fair and reciprocal trade with Spain.”

These AD and CVD investigations are based on petitions filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, whose individual members are Bell-Carter Foods, Inc. (CA), and Musco Family Olive Co. (CA) on June 22, 2017. The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 78.00 and 223.00 percent and the unfair subsidies are estimated to be above de minimis.

In the AD 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 the CVD 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 (ITC) 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.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on these initiations.

Next Steps:

During the Commerce Department investigations into whether ripe olives from Spain are being dumped and/or subsidized, the U.S. International Trade Commission will conduct its own investigations into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before August 7. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury then the Commerce Department investigations will continue, with a preliminary countervailing duty determination in September 2017, followed by preliminary antidumping determinations in November 2017, unless these deadlines are extended.

If the Commerce Department preliminarily determines that dumping or subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing the subject ripe olives from Spain.

Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for November 2017 for the countervailing duty investigation, and February 2018 for the antidumping duty investigation, but those dates may be extended. If either the Commerce Department does not find that products are being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the U.S. International Trade Commission does not find in its final determinations there is harm to the U.S. industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.

From January 20, 2017, through July 13, 2017, Commerce has initiated 51 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. Commerce currently maintains 401 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

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.