California citrus growers "disappointed" by TPP withdrawal
The deal would have seen gradual tariff elimination in key markets such as Japan and Vietnam.
California Citrus Mutual (CCM) was pleased yesterday about a White House decision to stay a rule on Argentine lemon imports, but the response has not been so positive to U.S. President Trump's official exit from the TPP.
The TPP included an immediate elimination of tariffs on citrus exports to Vietnam and a gradual reduction or elimination of tariffs to other Pacific Rim countries, including Japan, a leading importer of California citrus.
The trade deal also established a structure for phytosanitary negotiations with Vietnam.
In a press release, CCM said it was disappointed but not surprised.
"The President's Executive Order does set back efforts by the citrus industry to increase exports to both existing trading partners and emerging export markets," CCM president Joel Nelsen said.
"But we remain confident that demand for California citrus in these countries will continue to grow even without TPP."
The group said Japan was and would continue to be a top export market for California citrus and demand from Vietnam was on an upward trajectory.
"Our job now is to assure President Trump that the California citrus industry is committed to working with his Administration to maintain the existing TPP language whether it is through a country-by-country approach or a broad trade agreement," Nelsen said.