US and EU trade agreement could benefit U.S. olive oil industry

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U.S. apples shipped to EU nations face duties of 7 percent, while EU competitors pay no duties on apples shipped here.

Besides eliminating duties, the U.S. apple industry would like to see the agreement harmonize “maximum residue allowance” codes for pesticides and address subsidies, said Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover.

A major sticking point of the talks for farm groups on both sides has been the issue of “geographic indications,” which identify a product as originating from a specific region.

A strong GI provision could prevent U.S. dairy companies from using common food names such as Parmesan and feta cheese, because those names originated from regions in Italy and Greece.

“The dairy industry doesn’t want to see that happen,” said Milk Producers of Idaho Executive Director Brent Olmstead. “We’d like to see an agreement but as far as where it goes, the devil’s in the details.”

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