In an interview with "La Stampa", Minister for Agriculture Gianmarco Centinaio talked about the uselessness of a protectionist policy and explained that duties call for other duties. "The best method is for all countries is to carry out strict checks and guarantee the quality of what arrives in our ports."
The US want to impose duties on Spanish oil. "Were they to do the same with Italian oil, wine and pasta, companies would be closing. We must avoid it. When I explained this to Confcommercio and various business categories, they all agreed."
Alleanza delle Cooperative Agroalimentari feels the same and is "absolutely against all duties to protect Italian products. Rules that would enable our businesses to export all over the world would be more needed."
"We produce a lot more than we consume for lots of our sectors, from fresh produce and cheese to wine. This in turn means exporting is a necessity. Choosing to put 'Italy first', therefore closing the borders, could lead to retaliations from other countries, which might opt for protectionist measures. This would penalise the many Italian businesses that work hard to commercialise their products on faraway markets," explained President Giorgio Mercuri (in the photo).
"We need policies at the service of of businesses that guarantee clear rules that apply to both us and our competitors. It's not possible that food that is produced abroad without following the strict European protocols ends up on our tables."
EU MP Paolo De Castro added that "introducing duties on US imports would lead to an escalation and heavy repercussions on the food and agricultural sector. It's actually time to talk to the US authorities so to analyse the American menace to the European aid system and find a solution. Domestic authorities should focus on frontier checks so as to make sure the products imported from third countries comply with Community standards. After the crisis caused by the Russian ban, the Italian sector cannot risk losing another commercial partner."