Imported fresh fruit – including oranges and pears – is now subject to a 45% tariff in Ecuador.
This comes under a new system – designed to help the country surmount a drop in oil prices and dollar appreciation – which applies surcharges of 5–45% for a period of 15 months on a wide range of goods.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the measure was effective as of March 11 and impacts at least 461 food and agricultural product tariff lines.
A report by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service said it will have a significant impact on the US. “This measure can potentially transform Ecuador into mere bulk commodity (e.g., wheat and cotton) and intermediate goods (e.g., soybean meal) export destination,” it said.
The Andes news agency reports there are also concerns about the move in Chile, which last year exported nearly 61,000 tons of apples to Ecuador.
la Agencia de Noticias Andes: Ecuador will explain safeguard measures to Chile
USDA FAS GAIN report: Ecuador Announces Unilateral Safeguards on Food and Agricultural Products
Image: Flag-map of Ecuador by Darwinek via Wikimedia Commons