EU Prolongs Fish Fight With Turkey by Opening New Tariff Inquiry
The European Union threatened to renew tariffs on rainbow trout from Turkey in response to a request by Danish producers for longer trade protection.
The European Commission began an inquiry into whether to re-impose the duties as high as 9.5%. The bloc applied the levies for five years in 2015 to help European producers such as Danforel A/S of Denmark counter alleged trade-distorting subsidies in Turkey.
The investigation “will determine whether the expiry of the measures would be likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of subsidization” and “of injury to the union industry,” the commission, the EU’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Thursday in the Official Journal.
Fish-trade tensions between the EU and Turkey have been overshadowed since 2015 by a deterioration in their relations over humans-rights and geopolitical issues. The bloc has been angered by the Turkish government’s crackdown on domestic political opponents, energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and military incursion into Syria.
The EU anti-subsidy duties on Turkish trout were due to expire on Feb. 28 and will now stay in place during the probe, which can last as long as 15 months. EU renewals of such measures are usually for five years.
Turkish rainbow-trout exporters almost doubled their share of the EU market to 17% in 2013 from 9% in 2010, the bloc said when introducing the anti-subsidy duties. The levies range from 6.9% to 9.5%, depending on the Turkish exporter.
The inquiry into whether to renew the trade protection stems from a Nov. 25 request by the Danish Aquaculture Organisation on behalf of producers that account for more than 40% of the EU’s output of rainbow trout, according to the commission.
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