NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Popular party foods could cost you a lot more this summer.
President Donald Trump has proposed tariffs ranging from 25 percent to 100 percent on more than 300 products from Europe, including wine, cheese and seafood.
The biggest price hikes, though, could be on olive oil, CBSN New York’s Lisa Rozner reported Monday.
It’s a staple of many people’s diets, and now the cost of olive oil could double — or even triple — putting a dent in your wallet and some companies out of business.
“Oh I get calls every day, every day, especially the smaller companies,” said Joseph Profaci, executive director of the North American Olive Oil Association.
Most of the olive oil in supermarkets is from Europe, and here, for instance, the bottles range from $10 to $20. That means under this tariff you could be paying as much as $40 for one bottle of olive oil.
Pam Shaia owns an independent olive oil store in Florida.
“Forty dollars on the consumer will wipe us out. No one is willing to pay $40 for a bottle,” Shaia said.
Profaci said 70 percent of the olive oil America imports is from Europe, 25 percent from other places. Only 5 percent of the oil we use is from the U.S., specifically California.
Why the disparity? Naturally, Europe already has millions of ancient trees that produce premium oils. Here? Not so much.
Bill Monroe, adviser to Pompeian, which imports European oils, explained why.
“If you plant a sapling today, it takes four to seven years to yield an olive,” Monroe said. “You need the trees. Without the trees, you have no olive oil.”
Olive oil has skyrocketed in popularity as part of the widely accepted Mediterranean diet. Doctors recognized it has mono-unsaturated fats, which are found to lower cholesterol, among other health benefits.
“So people will walk away from olive oil. They will go to less healthy oils,” Monroe said.
Or, he said, even butter.
So why is olive oil being targeted for tariffs? Financial expert Jordan Goodman explained that it’s retaliation against Europe for long-subsidizing a power player in another industry — aeronautics, particularly the company Airbus.
“So the problem with Airbus getting subsidies means that their planes are cheaper than they would be otherwise and President Trump thinks they’re unfairly competing with Boeing, a major American manufacturer,” Goodman said.
So a battle over planes could cause olive oil prices to take off soon. Goodman said that $40 bottle could be a reality next month.
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