Spain's highly subsidized olives will be facing stiff antidumping duties after a World Trade Organization ruling favorable to U.S. growers allowed the Commerce Department to confirm the tariffs. 

The olives have historically been sold into the U.S. “at artificially low prices, flooding the U.S. market and undercutting domestic producers,” according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The Commerce Department began imposing antidumping tariffs of up to 20% and countervailing duties as high as 27% against Spain in 2018, but the European Union took the case to the World Trade Organization for review.

A November 2021 ruling sided with the U.S. and EU on different issues, and the decision ultimately allowed the U.S. to maintain some countervailing duties on Spanish olives and bring measures in line with WTO tariff and trade rules. 

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The final WTO ruling last month “fully addresses and resolves all WTO concerns,” the Olive Growers Council of California said in a statement.

Spain exported about $72 million worth of olives into the U.S. before the duties were imposed in 2018. Since then, imports from the country have dropped nearly 60%. 

California olive growers continue to face challenges with their hand-harvested crop as labor costs escalate. Acres in production were 12,000 acres in 2022, down 800 acres from 2021, according to the USDA. 

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