U.S. Apple Association urges Trump to promote trade after exports take a hit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 February 2019 at 7:44 pm

Apple exports were down 30% or about $300 million last year

Photo by Tom Rivers: SnapDragon apples are pictured on Tuesday at the Albion Tops.

Export sales of apples grown in the U.S. plunged 30 percent or about $300 million last year. The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is urging President Donald Trump to resolve trade disputes and promote the U.S. agricultural sector.

Orleans County is the second-leading apple growing county in the state, behind only Wayne County, and New York is the country’s second-leading apple producing state, behind Washington.

“The U.S. Apple Association welcomes President Trump’s State of the Union remarks on the importance of trade, especially as it pertains to the agriculture sector,” Jim Bair, president and CEO of USApple, said in a news release. “With more than 30 percent of fresh apples destined for overseas markets, trade policies play a critical role in the health of the apple industry.”

U.S. Apple said Mexico and Canada are leading export markets for apples, totaling nearly $500 million in sales. The association supports ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“The agreement is good for apples as it maintains duty-free access and other important provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement, including dispute resolution,” Blair said. “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 percent, or about $300 million. Exports to our number one market Mexico are down 23 percent, and down 70 percent and 40 percent respectively to growth markets India and China.”

USApple is asking Congress to ratify the USMCA and the Trump Administration to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs on important trading partners, particularly Mexico and Canada.

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