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WTO gives mixed ruling on U.S. tariffs on Spanish olives

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WTO gives mixed ruling on U.S. tariffs on Spanish olives
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Olive trees stand in a grove in Porcuna, southern Spain October 15, 2019. Picture taken October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization gave a mixed ruling on Friday in a case involving U.S. tariffs on Spanish olives, finding the United States had correctly determined they were being dumped on the U.S. market but not that they benefited from subsidies.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a combination of duties to counter dumping and subsidies in August 2018 totalling between 30.64% and 44.47%.

The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27-nation European Union, took the United States to the WTO and a three-person panel issued its finding on Friday.

It accepted three points of the EU complaint related to tariffs to counter subsidies. These included that the EU’s common agricultural policy was not specific for olive growers and that a U.S. regulation allowing Washington to consider all support passed on to exporters was inconsistent with WTO rules.

But the panel rejected an EU claim on the U.S. assessment of injury related to both anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties.

The panel recommended that the United States bring its measures into conformity with global trade rules.

The Commission says the export of ripe olives from Spain to the United States fell by almost 60% from an annual 26 million euros before tariffs were imposed.

The Commission said its efforts to defend the interests of Spanish growers was paying off and that it expected the United States to take appropriate steps.

If the anti-subsidy duties alone were removed, the remaining anti-dumping duties would range from 16.88% to 25.5%. The exporters named are Aceitunas Guadalquivir, Agro Sevilla Aceitunas and Angel Camacho Alimentacio.

The United States has typically appealed against panel rulings, although its blockage of appointments to the WTO’s appellate body means such appeals go into a legal void.

If it did appeal and also failed to pass the case through an interim appeal system the European Union has set up with other countries, but not with the United States, the Commission might impose retaliatory measures.

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Commodities

Bypassing sanctions by the EU is included in the list of criminal offenses in the EU

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sanctions by EU

Bypassing European sanctions is included in the list of criminal offenses in the EUThe EU Council decided on Monday to include violations of EU sanctions in the list of criminal “offenses in the EU”.

“The EU has adopted an unprecedented European sanctions list targeting Russia’s economy (…). Their implementation requires joint efforts to achieve results, and today’s decision is an important tool to ensure that any attempts to circumvent these measures will be stopped,” said Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blazek, who holds the EU Council Presidency, as quoted in a communiqué published in Brussels.

Member states currently have different definitions of what is a violation of restrictive measures and what penalties should be imposed in the event of a violation, the document noted. “This could lead to varying degrees of sanctions and the risk of circumvention of these measures, potentially allowing sanctioned individuals to continue accessing their assets and supporting regimes against which EU measures are in effect,” the EU Council communiqué said.

It explains that listing violations of restrictive measures as “crimes in the EU” is the first of two steps aimed at making sure that sanctions are applied equally across the EU and deterring attempts to circumvent or violate EU measures.

This draft directive, Brussels reminds us, must then be discussed and adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council.

Earlier we reported that the U.S. had decided to extract crude oil in Venezuela.

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Commodities

The U.S. has decided to produce crude oil in Venezuela

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crude oil in Venezuela

The U.S. wants to give the U.S. Chevron Corp., one of the largest oil companies in the country, a license to produce crude oil in Venezuela, according to The Wall Street Journal.

There will be new American oil executives in Venezuela. This is a signal of easing sanctions against the country, the newspaper said. Chevron has decided to regain partial control over oil production in Venezuela’s fields, in which the company paid a share due to joint ventures with Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

Talk of new investment is not yetunderway, because the debts to Chevron are not repaid. This may take several years, the sources say.

In July, Diosdado Cabello, leader of the parliamentary faction and vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), accused the U.S. of attacks on the country’s oil facilities. Venezuela has been under U.S. oil sanctions since 2019. In June of this year, the State Department allowed Italian Eni and Spanish Repsol to supply oil from Venezuela to Europe.

Earlier we reported that more than 50% of Germans said they refused to buy new clothes and electronics.

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Commodities

Bloomberg: UAE to boost oil production beyond plan by 2025

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UAE to boost oil production

UAE to boost oil production. One of Russia’s main competitors for oil exports plans to reach five million barrels per day by 2025. The Middle Eastern country was initially expected to reach this level only by 2030, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

“Energy concern Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc), which produces almost all of the UAE’s oil, wants to be able to produce 5 million barrels a day by 2025. The company planned to reach such a level only by 2030,” – says the material.

But a crude oil production boost will be difficult without additional financing for expenses for the project. Adnoc explained the acceleration of production increase by the policy of the leading countries of the world on accelerated energy transition to renewable energy sources (RES).

“As we embrace the energy transition and focus our business on the future, we will continue to explore potential opportunities that can further add value, free up capital and improve profitability,” the Arab oil company said.

To realize the goal, Adnoc has asked international companies that are partners in its oil fields to increase long-term crude production by 10% or more, sources said. In the case of positive results of the negotiations, the UAE will be able to significantly increase the volume of oil production by 2025, concludes Bloomberg.

On September 19, the Times of India, citing sources in the Indian Ministry of Commerce, reported that the Asian country has saved since February 2022, $439.7 million on imports from Russia of oil at a discount. A total of about 62.5 million barrels of Russian crude were purchased by Indian state and private companies over the last six months. Moreover, volumes of imports have increased many times over as compared to 2021.

Earlier, we reported that Nigeria stopped benefiting from the sale of Nigerian oil due to the lack of dollars.

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