London's announcement about tariffs being imposed on EU agro-food products if no trade agreement is signed between the United Kingdom and the European bloc has raised concerns in various Spanish producing sectors, such as the citrus sector. It was revealed that the tariffs on these products could reach 16% in the case of mandarins or clementines, from 3.2% to 10% in that of oranges, and up to 6% in that of lemons.
Consequently, the Unió de Llauradors is urging the Government of Spain to ask the EU to sign a preferential agreement as soon as possible in order to avoid such tariffs. The agrarian organization, which has repeatedly asked for the impact of Brexit on agro-food to be accurately estimated, has released a statement criticizing the United Kingdom' decision, as it will add to the tariffs and taxes already imposed in other places, such as the United States, or other types of non-reciprocity practices and agreements that weaken European productions compared to those of third countries.
Agro-food trade with the United Kingdom, with a positive balance of more than 2,900 million Euro in Spain's favor, is essential for the agricultural sector nationwide, since it accounts for 8% of all agro-food exports, according to the latest report. Berries, kiwifruit and kakis (8%), citrus (7%) and vegetables (6%) are some of the most exported products and the planned tariffs could be a serious blow to their producers.
Free way for Morocco and Turkey
The Unió stressed that should these tariffs become effective, Valencian producers could lose competitiveness and market share to international competitors such as Morocco, South Africa, Turkey or Israel. It said that the United Kingdom has already signed preferential agreements with South Africa (with a 0% rate for oranges and hybrids), Morocco (with 0% for clementines) and Turkey, while negotiations with Egypt are still underway.