NYAA calls for U.S. “fast track” trade promotion authority renewal in Senate testimony

Fishers, N.Y. – New York Apple Association (NYAA) President Jim Allen urged Congress today to renew federal trade promotion authority (TPA) to help the Obama administration better negotiate trade agreements of importance to the U.S. apple industry. Allen’s comments came during a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee, which is considering a bill to renew so-called “fast track” trade negotiation authority that expired in 2007.

“Today I want to speak to you with an industry-wide message, one voice that echoes the concerns of all major apple-producing states from the East Coast to the West Coast,” Allen told Senate committee members. “Our industry urges Congress to support updated TPA legislation so that U.S. apple growers can grow our markets, and supply nutritious and delicious U.S. apples to new markets around the world.”

Allen also stressed the importance to the apple industry of removing trade barriers, stating, “As we negotiate, we must be ever mindful that trade agreements must treat trading partners equally without imposing restrictions on one party and not the other.”

Exports are a significant market for New York state apples; as much as 10 percent of the state’s fresh-market crop is exported. On a national level, 33 percent of the 2012-2013 U.S. fresh-market crop was exported, continuing the United States’ historic net surplus in apple trade. Fresh-market U.S. apple exports were more than four times the quantity and more than five times the value of imports last crop year. 2012-2013 U.S. fresh apple exports of 46.7 million 42-lb. units were valued at $1.16 billion, while imports of 10.6 million 42-lb. units were valued at $198 million. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.)