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.