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USApple’s statement on USTR rejection of 301 investigation

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Statement by Jim Bair, President & CEO, U.S. Apple Association BB #:145473

October 23, 2022 — “The U.S. apple industry is relieved by the U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to reject the 301 Investigation on imported fruits and vegetables from Mexico. A Section 301 investigation could have been followed by tariffs on imported produce and, in turn, retaliatory tariffs from Mexico. That has happened in the past where U.S. apples were the targets of retaliation. We acknowledge that other sectors of the fresh produce industry are facing their own difficult challenges, but the U.S. Trade Representative came to the correct conclusion, and we are thankful.

USApple joined other groups in a letter to Ambassador Katherine Tai strongly opposing any Section 301 investigation of fresh produce imports from Mexico. The inflationary impacts of fuel, fertilizer and labor costs have created strong headwinds for apple growers. An investigation and pressure for relief in the form of tariffs would have, once again, painted a big target on U.S. apple growers in a battle where we’re innocent bystanders. We’ve been through that before and it was very painful.

“Mexico has long been the number one market for exports of U.S. apples, and that market is growing quickly. Our exports to Mexico in 2021 totaled $349 million, up 45 percent from $241 million in 2020. Many of the 150,000 jobs supported by the apple industry would be put at risk by U.S. action that invites retaliation.”