California citrus

In 2016 the US citrus industry exported 70,366 metric tonnes to Japan, with most of that amount sourced from California.

Last year, in 2018, that figure dropped significantly, to 48,060 metric tonnes.

The trade agreement, announced in September, will see trade tariffs on selected produce eliminated immediately, while fruit and vegetables, including citrus, will have tariffs eliminated over a period of stages.

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) president, Casey Creamer, said the 32 per cent tariffs the California citrus industry were subject too had gone on too long, and that the agreement was welcome news for the industry.

'As Japan entered into agreements with other citrus producing trading partners the California citrus industry was put at a competitive disadvantage,” said Creamer.

“The new market access agreement immediately puts California fresh citrus in a position equal to the agreement reached previously between Japan and other nations.”

'The agreement does not require Congressional approval, but the Japanese National Diet must vote to concur. We trust the Japanese government will fully support their leadership and by January 2020, the agreement will be implemented at the peak of California's export opportunity,' he added.