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Greg Martin 04/27/05 U.S. apples back in Japan?
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: April 27, 2005

It was a few years ago that the United States took Japan before the World Trade Organization complaining that Japaneses phytosanitary barriers for fireblight in effect kept our apples out of that market, and created a trade barrier.

BRYANT: Japan lost that case. The W.T.O. panel sided with the United States. Japan appealed and lost on appeal. And so they changed their regulation but not enough to really open up their market.

So according to Bill Bryant of international marketing firm Bryant-Christie, the U.S. took Japan to the W.T.O. once again in attempts to get that market open to U.S. apples. And according to Bryant, there appears to be some good news on the horizon.

BRYANT: And there have been leaks in the press, in Europe and in Japan, that the W.T.O. is likely to side with the United States when it makes it official ruling next month.

If that is indeed the case, then Bryant says there is a realistic chance Japan could accept U.S. apples in time for our 2005 crop under new conditions.

BRYANT: The original W.T.O. panel gave Japan fifteen months to come into compliance, and that fifteen months has long since expired. So we would anticipate Japan moving rather quickly in changing its regulations.

But another favorable W.T.O. ruling for the U.S. could set a significant precedent, one that would benefit Americas apple industry. More on that in our next program.

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