By Francisco Seva Rivadulla
The Agricultural Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA) Murcia expressed “enormous optimism” for the suspension of tariffs agreed to by the United States and the European Union (EU). Tariffs on Spanish lemons exported to the United States that were set at 25% have been temporarily lifted for four months. Similarly, the EU has suspended tariffs on U.S. grapefruit imports.
“It is certainly good news, but we must bear in mind the suspension only lasts until the summer, so European leaders will have to continue working with their counterparts in the Biden administration so that this suspension is final and long-term,” said Alfonso Gálvez Caravaca, secretary general of ASAJA Murcia. “The U.S. market is very attractive for the Spanish lemon, so we must take advantage of this temporary suspension, especially for the Verna lemon, and we must work hard to recover the distribution channels and consolidate the marketing of our lemons in the U.S. market.”
Caravaca is confident that a permanent suspension of the tariffs can be achieved, and that the U.S. market holds great promise for Spanish lemons in the coming years. “The U.S. market can be complementary to the European Union for Spanish lemons, so we hope in the short term to recover normality in shipments to that market,” he said.
Eladio Aniorte Aparicio, president of ASAJA Alicante, shared a similar sentiment: “We are confident that we will get a total suspension of tariffs on Spanish citrus, as it is undoubtedly a very attractive market for our lemons, oranges and tangerines. Historically, we have maintained very good trade relations with the North American country. Despite having a very strict protocol, Spanish companies had already adapted and complied with it. We trust that the tariffs will be abolished definitively and not just temporarily,” he said.
Francisco Seva Rivadulla is an international agri-food journalist.