“The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) welcomes President Trump’s State of the Union remarks on the importance of trade, especially as it pertains to the agriculture sector. With more than 30 percent of fresh apples destined for overseas markets, trade policies play a critical role in the health of the apple industry.

“Mexico and Canada are top export markets for apples, totaling nearly a half-billion dollars in annual sales.  We support ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement is good for apples as it maintains duty-free access and other important provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including dispute resolution.

“However, because of current trade disputes regarding U.S.-imposed section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, and resulting retaliatory tariffs by our major trading partners, apple exports are down 30 percent, or about $300 million. Exports to our number one market Mexico are down 23 percent, and down 70 percent and 40 percent respectively to growth markets India and China.

“USApple is calling on Congress to ratify the USMCA and on the Administration to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs on our valuable trading partners, particularly Mexico and Canada to allow the USMCA to be successful.”