U.S. Representatives Dan Newhouse and Chris Collins have written to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting a full disease and pest management risk analysis (PRA) be conducted for Polish apple imports.
The lawmakers, from Washington State and New York respectively, said Poland had not previous met phytosanitary requirements for U.S. market access.
They also believed the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) systems approach did not “fully address” key concerns raised by U.S. growers.
Poland is one of the world’s largest apple exporters.
“As you know, the introduction of a single invasive plant, pest, or disease can have a devastating impact on our domestic tree fruit industry,” they said in the letter.
“We feel APHIS’ systems approach proposal does not fully address key concerns raised by domestic apple growers about the potential risk from the importation of plant pests and diseases from Poland.
“Since Poland has not previously met phytosanitary requirements for U.S. market access, unlike the other seven EU countries under consideration, we still request that APHIS conduct a thorough PRA for Poland prior to determining whether it is appropriate to allow access to Polish imports under this petition.”
They also reminded Perdue that in May he had announced his intentions to focus his tenure as head of the USDA on agricultural trade with the reorganization and establishment of the entity’s Undersecretary for Trade.
“We believe this is a prime opportunity for the new undersecretary to ensure our trading partners that we will continue to honor our commitments and treat our trade partners with the proper and appropriate access,” they said.