The U.S. Apple Association is calling on Congress to ratify the USMCA and on the Administration to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs on valuable trading partners, particularly Mexico and Canada to allow the USMCA to be successful. The statement follows President Trump’s February 5, 2019 State of the Union address.
With more than 30 per cent of U.S. apples bound for overseas markets, U.S. trade policies “play a critical role in the health of the apple industry” said Jim Blair, president and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association, in a statement on the group’s web site.
“Mexico and Canada are top export markets for apples, totalling nearly a half-billion dollars in annual sales,” said Blair. “We support ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement is good for apples as it maintains duty-free access and other important provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including dispute resolution.”
“However, because of current trade disputes regarding U.S.-imposed section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, and resulting retaliatory tariffs by our major trading partners, apple exports are down 30 per cent, or about $300 million. Exports to our number one market Mexico are down 23 per cent, and down 70 per cent and 40 per cent respectively to growth markets India and China.
From a Canadian perspective, these figures put into stark relief that mitigation funds of $8.5 million to the Washington Apple Commission do not begin to recover losses due to tariff wars in 2018. The push for timely ratification of the new USMCA would provide clarity for all markets entering the 2019 growing season.
Source: U.S. Apple Association website statement, Feb. 6, 2019