Commission Secures Congressional Members’ Support on China Market Access
In 2005 the California Avocado Commission initiated the process to gain market access to China. Since that time we have been working through the "system," which for the most part is the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), to move the request forward. Obviously the process has moved very slowly. Growers are probably aware of the trade issues between the U.S. and China that have been widely covered in the media. On the heels of high-level trade policy meetings, which occurred in early January in China, APHIS has told Commission staff they expect technical meetings will be scheduled soon to discuss phytosanitary matters including market access for California avocados.
In anticipation of these technical bilateral meetings the Commission decided to increase our pressure on USDA. A copy of a letter the Commission wrote on behalf of members of Congress and sent to USDA on January 9 is available HERE (and in the right-hand navigation). CAC is very pleased the letter received support from all the Congressional representatives contacted (primarily those with California avocado production in their districts) and are hopeful it will help ensure USDA makes California avocado China market access a priority in the new trade access negotiations. In our experience, government agencies do not take lightly hearing from Congress members, so it is our hope USDA will genuinely make every effort to finalize the California HASS avocado agreement as soon as possible (barring the politics that remain). The Commission will keep growers updated as new information becomes available.