The Malaga food industry, more specifically wine, olive oil and fruits, is one that can benefit most from the removal of barriers.
The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP) that the US and the European Union are negotiating will open up a market to Spanish small businesses that accounts for 40% of global GDP, composed of 320 million people with a high income and natural consumers. “There are sectors that can participate more fully in this agreement, with respects to the food of Malaga and particularly wine, olive oil and fruits, you can get the maximum revenue from it,” as outlined by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Malaga, Jerónimo Pérez Casero.
“For the businesses of the province of Malaga, composed mainly of small enterprises, the elimination of tariff barriers and regulations is of special interest, which promotes the reduction of costs and bureaucracy”. Precisely adaptation to American standards is one of the main obstacles facing trade as pointed out by businessman Antonio Mediato, CEO of Airzone, a Malaga company operating in the US for seven years. “The products and services coming from Europe have to be adapted and subsequently certified. This has a tremendous cost and is difficult to achieve. “
This executive participated in a survey of Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise awareness of the problems of companies traded in the US, where he said the most important thing is to compete on an equal footing: “Differences in requirements is an important element of unfair competition and that’s bad for the generation of wealth and employment. If we cannot grow in international markets and let our products enter with ease, we will lose value in our economy and employment. “
A key point for opponents of TTIP is on GM foods as Benjamin Fauli, general secretary of Asaja Malaga, points out “it assumes that the EU legal harmonisation of genetically modified foods, the chemical industry or food treated with hormones is impossible, so that they fall outside the TTIP.” The EU predicts growth of exports of fruit and vegetables to the US 90%. However, a possible increase in turnover of food industry, Asaja says: “From the mouth of the Americans themselves, Europeans don’t have much to gain” and cited a study by the US Department of Agriculture saying that “The TTIP will lead to an increase in agricultural production in the US with an increase in agricultural prices. But for the EU, the increase in imports will lead to a decrease in agricultural prices. “Malaga companies have the proven quality of their products. What Malaga farmers are demanding is the elimination of phytosanitary barriers that today is the largest and most expensive obstacle in its dealings with the United States. One of the main companies in Malaga that already exports to the US is Dcoop. They expect the TTIP will open a lot of opportunities. For them, it would be time to open up to new markets such as wine and exploit more olive oil and wine products.