Donald Trump's new tariffs on European Union food exports, to counter EU subsidies for its aviation industry, comes just as Andalucía has increased its sales to the United States. In the first half of this year, exports to the US reached a record 1.14 billion euros.
The Junta de Andalucía said this week that the new tariffs could cost the region 315 million euros, although it admitted that it was hard to be precise. From 18 October, US Customs will apply extra import tax of up to 25 per cent on certain foodstuffs, including olive oil, cheeses, pork produce and wines.
In Brussels this week, to add to his Brexit woes, Juanma Moreno, the regional president, met with Phil Hogan, the Agriculture commissioner and soon-to-be foreign policy chief, to discuss the tariffs. Moreno was pessimistic after the meeting, saying the strategy had to be to react but to avoid entering into a trade war. "We have to work on avoiding new tariffs," explained Moreno.
Speaking in Seville this week, regional minister for Agriculture, Carmen Crespo was hopeful that "there is still room for negotiation", with a meeting between the US and the EU planned for Monday 14th.
Olive oil, olives, cheese, almonds, rice, octopus, crab and sherry are the Andalusian food products most sold in America. In total, 6.5 per cent of the region's exports are to the US.
Crespo also explained this week that the effect of the tariffs will be uneven, with different rates being applied to items. For example, half olive oil exports to the US are in bulk and unbottled, and so won't be hit.
With an eye on the 10 November general election, acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said in olive-growing Jaén this week that he would instigate an action plan to give relief to affected producers.