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Amendment to protect US lemons from imports fails to pass

Efforts to protect domestic lemons — Ventura County’s second most valuable crop after strawberries — failed this week when the House Rules Committee decided an amendment preventing Argentine lemon imports did not belong in a massive spending bill.

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, has been trying to derail a decision made last year by the Obama administration to resume imports of the cheaper South American lemon from the world’s largest lemon-producing country. California grows 92 percent of domestic lemons.

An analysis of the proposal to lift the ban indicated that, if the United States imported 18 metric tons of Argentine lemons, the price of U.S. lemons would decline 2 to 4 percent, saving consumers between $12.2 and $25 million. After freezing all Obama administration rules for 60 days after taking office, the Trump administration allowed the ban, in effect since 2001, to be lifted in May.

Publication date: 9/8/2017


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