This is crazy. American olive oil producers are being forced to compete against subsidized olive oil from Morocco , with the subsidies coming from our very own State Department, who said the subsidies wouldn’t hurt US agriculture. Central Valley farmers in California deeply disagree and want a level playing field.
American olive oil producers are meeting in Washington D.C. to try to figure out a way to level the international playing field. One way to level the playing field would be to visit our own Dept. of State while they’re in town and find out how much the bureaucrats are spending in Morocco to help the Moroccan olive oil industry. That’s right. Our olive oil producers are in Washington asking for a level playing field while our own Dept. of State is spending 100’s of millions to help a foreign country.
Olive growers in the US are in effect competing against their own government which, by design or stupidity, is favoring another country over them. The Millennium Challenge Corp., a foreign aid agency, says the olive oil will be sold to Spain so US growers won’t be harmed, This is deliberately deceptive and misleading as Spain frequently re-sells olive oil to the US.
But table-olive growers argue that Morocco’s Picholine olive is dual use – for eating and oil – and is already glutting the American institutional food market. The oil-olive growers say there’s no question it will hurt their business because oil sold to Spain is often refined there and later sold as virgin or extra virgin in the United States.
“It’s disturbing,” said Brendon Flynn, president of the California Olive Oil Council. “It’s difficult enough competing with countries that are being subsidized by their own (governments). Now we have to compete with foreign countries being subsidized by our own country.”
$700+ million seems a quite high amount of money for a country like Morocco to be receiving from us, and our government is clearly being evasive about the whole matter too. Why?