The Commerce Department is probing whether ripe olives from Spain are being “dumped” at artificially low prices in the US, hurting Central Valley olive growers.
“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 US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The investigations are based on petitions filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, whose individual members are Musco Family Olive Company of Tracy and Bell-Carter Foods of Walnut Creek.
The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners, the proportion by which the commercial value exceeds the export price, are 78% and 223%.
In the 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 a second 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 US market, and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission 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.
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