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Spanish Lobbying For Portuguese Solidarity To Stop Thai Tuna

Spain’s National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Shellfish (Anfaco-Cecopesca) will meet today with the canned seafood sector associations of Portugal and Azores to analyze and evaluate the current state of the manufacturing industry of fishing-aquaculture products.

The Spanish tuna canning industry is seeking the support of Portugal canners to convince Brussels to stop the negotiation of the European Union (EU) with Thailand of a new Free Trade Agreement, which will include a zero tariff for canned tuna.
For Anfaco, the main point to discuss is the fact that “the great threat to the European canned tuna processing sector is Brussels liberalizing the entry of these Thai products into the EU market.”

Anfaco wants a joint Portuguese-Spanish statement to defend the canned fish and seafood industry against the possible negative effects of the EU–Thai free trade negotiations.

Anfaco considers an elimination of canned tuna import tariffs on Thai canned tuna would not be justified and would jeopardize thousands of jobs in the EU, in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Right now canned tuna exports of Thailand to both Portugal and Spain are still minimal.

Spain is Europe’s leading producer of canned tuna and number two in the world, and also the main exporter of canned tuna to Portugal. Spanish canners directly compete in the Portuguese market with Portuguese tuna canners for orders from Portuguese retailers and food distributors. Thailand exports each year only minimal tonnages to Portugal.

The meeting in Matosinhos (Portugal) will be attended by Portuguese representatives of the National Association of Canned Fish Industries (ANICP) and of Pao do Mar.