Mexico imposes 20% tariff on U.S. apples, cranberries

June 05 , 2018

Mexico has imposed a 20% tariff on U.S. apples, cranberries and potatoes, in retaliation for the U.S. implementing duties on steel and aluminum imports. 

The tariffs, which were announced in a decree published by the Mexican Government, are effective June 5.

There was no mention of grapes or blueberries, despite those two fruits being listed by the country last week.

Mexico is implementing 20% tariffs on imports of dozens of products including certain types of cheese, pork and ham, and a 25% duty on Bourbon whiskey.

The Latin American country is the U.S.’s leading apple export market, with exports last year valued at over US$275 million, according to USDA data. The vast majority of the fruit comes from the state of Washington.

The Washington Apple Commission explained that under World Trade Organization rules, countries hit with unilateral tariffs are allowed to levy tariffs equivalent to the amount of injury.

During the current season, shipments have been ahead of last season by 13% and were on track to exceed 15 million bushels, worth an estimated US$241.8 million. But the organization said this new tariff now puts that goal in doubt.

“Any tariff is clearly going to have economic impact to our industry – especially when you consider its cumulative effect along with the tariffs imposed by China and expected within the next few weeks from India, also major Washington apple export markets, in retaliation to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs,” said the entity’s president Todd Fryhover.

“The economic impact to individual growers will vary depending on the strategic importance of Mexico to their sales, but collectively Washington apple growers will see a decrease in what they are paid for their crop due to the 20% duty.”

Last Thursday U.S. President Donald Trump announced duties of 25% and 10% would be imposed on steel and aluminum imports respectively from Mexico, Canada, and the EU.

Canada announced it would impose a 10% tariff on U.S. cucumbers. Last year the U.S. exported US$13.7 million of the vegetable north of the border, according to USDA data.

Related stories: U.S. fruit industry concerned over Mexican tariffs

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

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