Commerce Initiates Investigations of Imports of Ripe Olives from Spain
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation 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 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. and Musco Family Olive Co., both of California, 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 2016, imports of ripe olives from Spain were estimated at $70.9 million.
In the AD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of ripe olives from Spain are being dumped in the US 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.
Foreign companies that price their products in the US market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties under US law. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs, are subject to countervailing duties under US law, which are aimed at directly countering those subsidies.
If the Commerce Department determines that Spanish ripe olives are being dumped into the US market, and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) separately determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized US imports of ripe olives from Spain are causing injury to the US industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.
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 US Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all US 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 US International Trade Commission does not find in its final determinations there is harm to the US industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.