US apple and cherry exports latest casualties of trade wars

Mon 11/02/2019 by Richard Wilkinson
US apple and cherry exports latest casualties of trade wars

The trade wars between the US and major importers of its goods are affecting fruit exports. Mexico and China have raised tariffs on US apples to 20% and 50% respectively. These two trading partners together received about 30% of the $969 million of total US apple exports in 2017. Mexican imports of US apples reached $275 million in 2017, representing 28% of total US apple exports. Under NAFTA, US apples were previously not subject to import tariffs in Mexico. Meanwhile, China opened its market to US apples in 2015, and imported about $18 million of US apples in 2017 when the tariff rate was 10%. India was the third largest destination for US apple exports in 2017, accounting for $97 million, or 10% of total exports. The Indian Government is set to apply a 30% retaliatory tariff on imports of US apples on January 31, 2019.

As for cherries, China has imposed a retaliatory tariff of 40%, raising the total tariff rate to 50%. US cherry exports to China were worth $123 million in 2017 – up 68% from 2016 and accounting for 19% of total US cherry exports. Following China’s implementation of retaliatory tariffs, US cherry exports were worth 19% less in 2018 as China seeks alternative, cheaper sources.

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