Tree Fruit Growers Like USMCA Pt 2
Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council says yes, some things remain unanswered, but the industry seems to like it ...
POWERS ... "I think so. There is some confusion out there, understandably, about the 20 percent retaliatory tariff that's in place on apples right now from Mexico. You'll recall that that is a retaliation to the U.S. putting tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum coming into the United States. Did that on Canada as well."
Unfortunately, Powers says the new deal does not erase those tariffs ...
POWERS ... "The NAFTA, well, U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, now what it's being called, does not address that specific issue. So, the retaliatory tariff remains in place. That is clearly a concern for apple growers heading into a new season with their biggest export market and we're raising our voices. We have been since it went into place, that they need to get a negotiated solution for that as well. My opinion is that now that the NAFTA is renegotiated, hopefully that will occur quickly."
Powers says NAFTA, that went into effect back in 1994, was outdated and a modernization was needed. The USMCA now goes to the legislative branches of all three governments for ratification.
About 45% of Washington apples are exported to Mexico along with 70% of our pears.