China has lifted its ban on apples from Washington State, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced.
“Washington farmers will soon be able to start exporting Red and Golden Delicious apples directly to China,” Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, said on Friday.
The Chinese government suspended imports of Red and Golden Delicious apples from Washington State in 2012 as the two kinds of apple were repeatedly intercepted with three kinds of pests.
“USDA employees worked closely with the apple industry and China over a long period of time to achieve this market access,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
In 2011, China imported $6.5 million worth of apples from Washington State, according to the USDA.
“China is a vital trading partner for Washington,” said Cameron Crump, head of the state agriculture department’s fruit and vegetable inspection program.”
“China opening the door for Washington apples is great news for Washington’s apple industry,” said Mark Wen, president of the Washington State China Chamber of Commerce. “When we are talking about US apple export, we are talking about Washington State apple export, because 90 percent of US apple export is from Washington State.”
“The only two kinds of US apple that are allowed to be exported to China – Red and Golden Delicious – are both the most popular Washington apples. This is a positive step forward for US-China apple two way trade, both import and export,” Wen said.
Washington exports approximately 30 percent of its annual crop.
The USDA has worked with the apple industry to take additional measures to safeguard apples from diseases caused by pests.
The USDA also said the US and China are making an effort to normalize the US-China apple trade, including the safe importation into the US of apples grown in China.
Source China Daily USA