The Greek government scored a major victory thanks to negotiations by ministers responsible for trade and exports, protecting Greek olive oil, cheese, wine and other products from tariffs imposed on European products by the Trump administration.
“The Greek side has constantly emphasized that its agri-food sector has been hit disproportionately hard, that measures need to be taken to mitigate the repercussions and that a positive agenda needs to be shaped with the U.S. to reduce tensions over trade,” reads a statement by the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Peaches from Greece remain impacted by the existing tariffs which took effect last year.
The Ministry said that the Mitsotakis government will continue efforts to remove tariffs on peaches, which had an important tariff slapped on exports by the US Department of Commerce.
Makis Voridis, Greece’s minister of agricultural development and food, began a high-level push to protect Greek products when the trade war escalated between the European Union and the United States last year.
Voridis met with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and told him that Greece’s close relationship with the US should justify an exemption for Greek products. He also said that potential tariffs would cripple small agricultural producers in Greece.
“This is a trade war that does not relate to Greece,” Voridis said. “On the contrary, the possibility of tariffs on farm products of Greek interest — such as olive oil, table olives, fruit preserves and frozen cherries — will harm the income of a large number of small-scale producers.”
Greek Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Kostas Fragogiannis, Greece’s Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy, have also worked to exempt Greek products from tariffs.
The tariffs apply to numerous Spanish, French and other European products and stem from a dispute about EU subsidies to Airbus, a European multinational aerospace corporation and one of the world’s largest airliner manufacturers.
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