YAKIMA, Washington. (AP) – Apple officials in the state of Washington say that fruit exports have fallen significantly compared to recent years.
As of last week, the state exported 18.8 million 40 pounds (about 18 kilograms) of apples from the 2020-201 harvest, which is 20.5% less than this period of the previous year և 16.4% less than in 2018-19. compared to the shipping season, according to the Apple Commission in Washington.
And by the time the 2018-2019 season, almost 28% of state-produced apples were shipped abroad, with 2020 crop exports expected to fall below 25%.
These would be the lowest export figures since the 2003-04 harvest season, when they stood at 21.7%, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Exports of apples and other crops from the United States have been challenged by the coronavirus epidemic and trade problems with other countries.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump set tariffs on steel for aluminum from several countries, including Canada, Mexico and China. Several countries have since imposed reciprocal tariffs on US products, including apples and cherries, in Washington state. Although the federal government has resolved the decision with some countries, including Canada and Mexico, they have not resolved it with other countries.
In 2019, India set an additional 20% tariff on apples, bringing the total duty to 70%. The state-owned apple industry in Washington relied on India as a destination for Red Delicious apples.
Apples and cherries are now 50% cheaper in China. Just four years ago, 3.3 million 20 pounds (about 9 kilograms) of cherry boxes were shipped to China. Since the introduction of tariffs in 2018, deliveries have been reduced to 2.2 million in 2018, 1.9 million in 2019, and more than 1 million last year.
US Trade Representative Catherine Tai, who was confirmed for the post last month, recently said the country was not ready to cancel tariffs on Chinese goods.