WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON – On Friday, May 17th, the U.S., Canada and Mexico reached an agreement resulting in the removal of steel and aluminum tariffs by the U.S. administration and removal of retaliatory tariffs on imported U.S. goods. The elimination of the 20% duty on apples shipped to Mexico is welcome news to the Washington apple industry. Washington accounts for 90-95% of all U.S apple exports and Mexico is Washington’s #1 export market with 13 million boxes shipped to Mexico annually.
Washington is entering the last few months of the export season but demand for Washington apples in Mexico is strong year-round. Duty free access will have a positive impact on shipments and benefit apple growers.
“It has been a season of challenges with the industry facing a 20% duty into Mexico, a 50% duty into China and ongoing threats of India implementing a 25% duty. The opportunity to wrap up the season with one of the major markets returning to free trade is encouraging for the upcoming season,” says Toni Lynn Adams, Communications Outreach Coordinator.
Shipments to foreign markets have been reduced compared to previous years, partly due to smaller crop volume and partly due to barriers to trade. Exports to Mexico are down 29.3% season to date compared to the 2017-18 season and exports have decreased by 32.7% overall. The retaliatory tariffs were implemented in June of last year in response to the U.S. administration enacting a tariff on imports of steel and aluminum.
The agreement also includes a provision stating any possible retaliation regarding steel and aluminum in the future will be limited to those products only, providing some protection for apple suppliers from further escalation of the issue.
Washington exports one-third of the its fresh apple crop to over 60 markets worldwide. The Washington Apple Commission is a promotional organization dedicated to serving the Washington apple industry by increasing consumer demand through innovative marketing and promotions in international markets. For more information on the Washington Apple Commission, visit our website www.bestapples.com