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Mexico: APEAM, in favor of international free trade

The Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Avocados of Mexico (APEAM) has been present, as members of the "Cuarto de Junto", in each of the rounds of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the objective of defending the interests of its producers and packers as well as those of the industry.

In Mexico, the APEAM has had direct and constant communication with the chief negotiator, Kenneth Smith and the Secretariats of Economy and Agriculture. In the US, representatives of APEAM in Washington have held meetings with officials of the commercial and agricultural sector of the US government. In addition, Adrian Iturbide Mejia, the president of APEAM, held a meeting with the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.

Moreover, the APEAM joined the formation of coalitions of North American agricultural producers for the defense of the NAFTA.

APEAM's effort to defend the interests of the Mexican avocado industry
According to the APEAM, the avocado export program from Mexico to the USA is an exemplary case of the benefits of international free trade and the successful application of phytosanitary measures.

As such, the APEAM favors:

1. Maintaining the current trade policies for the Avocado from Mexico to the USA, i.e. free of all tariffs, free of quotas, and with the sensible application of existing phytosanitary measures.

2. Maintaining the current phytosanitary conditions of the export program for Avocado from Mexico to the US.

3. Considering the avocado issue, based on its own merits, without linking it to requests for market access of other fruit and vegetable products that are not related to the avocado industry.

4. Increasing the access to the North American market for the Avocado from Mexico from other states than Michoacan, in accordance with the rule published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2016.

It should be noted that the Mexican avocado industry is very important to reduce poverty and the migration of people from Michoacan to the US.
"In 1995, before the access of the avocado to the US, there were more workers from Michoacan in the United States than in Michoacan, a trend that has been reversed. Nowadays, the avocado sector generates 75 thousand permanent direct jobs, and approximately 300 thousand indirect and seasonal jobs. Around 100 thousand families are no longer looking to migrate," stated Ramon Paz, APEAM's Strategic Advisor.

The Mexican avocado sector has created value for the US economy
According to data from Capps and Williams, agricultural economists at Texas A & M University, the Mexican avocado value chain created 18,695 jobs in the US in 2015 (which accounts for $ 1.2 billion in labor income); it contributed 2.2 billion dollars to the US GNP, and 594 million dollars in taxes to the American government.

The importation of avocados from Mexico has not caused the loss of a single job in the North American industry. "It is important to point out that even those who would be our competitors, the producers of California, have benefited from the increase in demand and acceptance of the avocado. They are selling their fruit better now than before Mexico entered the market," Paz said.

This is due to the fact that there is a permanent growth of the North American consumption. which demands more and more avocados. Per capita consumption has increased by more than 650% since the market opened in 1997, going from half a kilo to three and a half kilos, according to the Hass Avocado Board. In addition, 50% of American households consume this fruit habitually.

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