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Greg Martin 04/25/05 CAFTA-D.R. and the apple industry
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: April 25, 2005

It is not very often that a fruit or vegetable commodity group comes out in a public manner in support of a trade deal like the way the U.S. Apple Association is fully backing the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the companion agreement between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. But U.S. Apples is so behind the deal that it had a representative speak at a recent pro  C.A.F.T.A.-D.R. rally in Washington D.C.

GLAZE: The coalition in support of C.A.F.T.A. is going to, of course, ask all of its members and get to the grass roots level to inform your Congressman and your Senators how important this is to us. And to be quite honest, if we all do that, then we will prevail. But if we think our neighbor is going to do it, and we dont have to, then we are going to fall behind in this effort

Phil Glaze is a trustee on U.S. Apples governing board. And he says its easy for him as an apple grower to get behind a deal that reduces tariffs into Central American nations to zero over time.

GLAZE: At the moment, U.S. apples experience any where from a twelve to a twenty five per cent tariff on apples shipped into that region. And it would be an excellent export market for Northwest apples.

For Glaze, that is especially true when our apples are on a level playing field with competitors like Chile in Central America. Two years ago, Chile negotiated and received duty free access for apples coming into Central America. At the time, market access for U.S. and Chilean apples were even. But Glaze says after the Chilean deal, market access of their apples increased twenty per cent.

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