USDA News: Tomato and Pepper Imports, Poultry Exports to China
Tomato and Pepper Imports
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a federal order imposing the following import restrictions as of Nov. 22 to protect the U.S. from the tomato brown rugose fruit virus.
- all tomato and pepper seed lots and transplants imported from all countries where the virus exists must be officially tested and certified free of the disease
- all tomatoes and peppers imported from Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands must be inspected at the point of origin to ensure they are free of disease
- Canada must inspect all tomatoes and peppers prior to export to the U.S. to ensure they are free of disease symptoms
In addition, both APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will increase inspections of tomato and pepper seed, plant, and fruit imports entering from countries where the virus is known to occur, as well as Canada, and will take action to keep any infected products out of the country.
Poultry Exports to China
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced Nov. 14 that China has decided to lift a ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products that was imposed in January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak. USTR states that the U.S. exported more than $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013, before the ban took effect, and estimates that such exports could now exceed $1 billion per year.