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Trump presidency leaves fruit growers wary for 2017

2017 is looking to be a difficult year to predict with recent events including the election of Donald Trump in the general election in the United States.

With the United States being the top global agricultural exporter, industry groups that lobby on behalf of fruit growers will be focusing on the Trump administration's stance and plans to deal with various trade deals he campaigned against on the trail.

He showed a firm stance against trade deals such as NAFTA and TPP which President Barack Obama had negotiated with 11 Pacific Rim partners, who together with the U.S. represent 40 percent of the global economy.

Under the deal, tariffs on U.S. apples, pears and cherries would have been gradually phased out in Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam; tariffs in the eight other countries are already at zero. TPP effectively died in Congress last November, following Donald Trump’s election as president.

Trump has also announced support for renegotiating the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Canada and Mexico are the largest export markets for U.S. apples and pears — 46 percent of U.S. apple exports and 70 percent of U.S. pear exports go to those two countries — and Canada remains the largest export market for U.S. cherries as well.

China has proposed setting up its own, rival version of the TPP, and if the U.S. fails to move forward on a trade agreement with those Pacific Rim nations, U.S. influence would be greatly weakened in Asia, said Des O’Rourke, world market analyst and director of Belrose Inc. in Pullman, Washington, publisher of the monthly World Apple Report.


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