WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Postharvest Information Network

Saturday, February 16, 2019

WSU-TFREC/Postharvest Information Network/Opening New Markets

Opening New Markets

Talk Topics

  • Define opening new markets
  • World view
  • Northwest Horticultural Council (NHC) priorities and status update
  • Closing remarks

Market Access

When I think about opening markets the first thing I think about is market access or opening the door. This process includes a pest risk assessment and phytosanitary protocols or work plans.

However, opening markets is more than that. What good is an "open market" if foreign consumers can't afford to buy our products due to any number of trade barriers? In other words, we can't get through the door if it is only cracked open enough to peek in. This may happen when a country has high tariff barriers, unrealistic reference prices, or low quotas. Opening new markets also means reaching new consumers at lower income levels.

A third aspect of opening markets is opening them a second or third time or market maintenance. After all, the door can always slam shut. This may be the case due to food safety or new phytosanitary regulations or the implementation of dumping rulings.

  • Pest risk assessment
  • Export protocols
  • Trade barriers

Market Maintenance

The International Monetary Fund Inc. (IMF) tracks economic data for 181 countries.

India, mainland China, and Japan account for 1%, 3%, and 13%, respectively, of world gross domestic product (GDP). So if we take out just those three countries, and, depending on criteria, we could certainly take out more, the apple industry has access to countries that produce 67% of the world's GDP.

We are not selling to several countries for any number of reasons. Some, such as Australia and South Africa, bar access to their markets for phytosanitary reasons. Many countries, such as central and eastern Europe, have their own domestic apple production. Africa has poorly developed infrastructure and low per capita incomes.

So how do we as an industry sort this all out? One way is by talking about it in venues such as this and at local associations and commodity marketing groups throughout the northwest. The way the NHC receives guidance and prioritizes opening new markets is through its foreign trade committee.

NHC Foreign Trade Committee Function:

  • To help identify and evaluate international trade barriers affecting industry
  • To suggest strategies and priorities for the elimination of these barriers
  • To give advice to the NHC trustees on ocean transportation matters and other issues
  • The committee will not involve itself in any marketing or promotion issues
  • Current Chairman, Dick Clements
  • Committee is comprised of no more than 26 appointed members
  • Current terms expire June 30, 2001
  • There are 53 countries listed in the apple export report. Based on IMF data for 1998, these 53 countries plus the United States represent 85% of the world's GDP.

U.S. Government Contacts

How does the NHC open new markets? We open new markets by working in cooperation with our federal government by knowing whom to contact in Washington D.C., at foreign posts overseas, as well as state and local experts in industry and academia.

Some of our contacts at the federal level are listed below:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Horticultural Tropical Products Division
  • USDA FAS International Trade Policy Division
  • USDA FAS Overseas
  • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR)
  • Our northwest congressional delegation

Market Access Priorities for Apples

One of our highest priorities for all the fruits NHC represents is reducing tariffs in all countries. This is like a mantra at NHC.

In the Canadian apple anti-dumping case, the NHC was successful in its attempts to have this ruling expire earlier this year, thereby opening up a "new old market."

In Korea, we continue to push for market access.

The NHC supports the northwest fruit exporters efforts to increase market access to Egypt, Israel, China, India, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and Vietnam. Our support is primarily in the phytosanitary and food safety disciplines.

  • World: tariff reductions
  • Canada: anti-dumping case
  • Korea: access
  • Support Northwest Fruit Exporters (NFE) Efforts

Market Access Priorities for Pears

Regarding pears, we continue to work for access to China and are hopeful that pears will be discussed at the next bilateral meeting between the United States and China this summer.

Access to New Zealand is another priority. The NHC obtained access to the New Zealand market for pears last fall.

In India, tariff reductions are an important issue, and in Israel, we are pursuing tariff and reference price reductions. We have unofficial confirmation that these items have recently been reduced.

  • World: reduce tariffs
  • China: access
  • New Zealand: gained access
  • India: tariff reductions
  • Israel: tariff and reference price reductions

Market Access Priorities for Sweet Cherries

Access to Australia - Australia continues to work on its stakeholder document and has not been able to meet anticipated deadlines. The NHC is pessimistic that we will be granted access to this market in time for the upcoming season.

Access to South Africa - the NHC has responded to a South African phytosanitary draft document and discussions continue regarding pests of concern to that country.

Access to Chile - Chilean officials are planning a visit to the northwest this July. Discussions regarding access to the Chilean market will continue following this visit.

Access to Argentina - NHC has submitted an export protocol to Argentinean authorities and awaits a response.

  • Australia: access
  • Argentina: access
  • Chile: access
  • South Africa: access

Market Access Priorities for Stone Fruits

In Canada, the systems approach agreed to last year remains in place.

NHC continues to seek access for apricots and other stone fruit in Mexico under a systems approach.

  • Canada: systems approach
  • Mexico: systems approach


I conclude with the obvious. There is no shortage of new market battles or issues facing the NHC and deciduous tree fruit growers of the northwest.

The question is what do we concentrate our limited resources on? I think that we should focus on the following:

  1. Continue our current policy of being flexible enough to respond to new priorities as they arise. Priorities change, opportunities change, and we must be quick enough to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

  2. We must continue to target specific markets in order to keep our governmental resources focused and concentrated.

  3. We must continue our efforts at lowering trade barriers overseas. The European Union (EU), China, Japan, and dozens of other countries around the world provide unfair protection to their producers. By lowering trade barriers such as tariffs we will open new markets by reaching new consumers at lower income brackets. Right now the World Trade Organization (WTO) is our best and only means for tackling these barriers.

  4. Finally, I think we must remember that "opening new markets" is not just gaining access to new countries. We open new markets every time we reach new consumers even in markets we already sell into.

The NHC staff works on issues affecting foreign markets every single working day of the year. It is a constant, long, frustrating, and rewarding battle. It is easy to see only the hard uphill road before us. However, as a person new to this industry I commend you for the great strides you have already taken:

  • Flexibility
  • Target specific markets
  • Lower trade barriers
  • Broad definition of "opening new markets"

Mark Powers

Northwest Horticultural Council
6 South 2nd St., Room 903
Yakima, WA 98901

16th Annual Postharvest Conference, Yakima, WA
March 14-15,  2000

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