Opening new international markets for fresh blueberry exports is a high priority for the U.S. blueberry industry. As blueberries grow in popularity around the world, and as global production expands, having new markets for fresh blueberry exports is critical for long-term industry success. Markets are opened by cooperating with the U.S. Trade Representative USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and by providing significant technical information to foreign governments.
Expanding Market Access
NABC supports the blueberry industry’s global expansion by engaging on political issues associated with market access discussions. We petition to place fresh blueberry market access on bilateral negotiating agendas, then press to advance these market access requests, working to ensure the industry does not lose its place to other, subsequent requests.
Since 2019 alone, NABC has secured market access to Vietnam, the Philippines and China. All three countries require packing facility registration, and to date 28 packing companies have been approved.
However, NABC continues to remove trade barriers in key export markets like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and India. Several markets still restrict access for U.S. fresh blueberries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Israel. NABC works with a task force on trade to prioritize resources and efforts.
Managing the Impact of Tariffs
Tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports have emerged as a significant trade policy issue. In recent years, foreign markets, including China and the European Union, have imposed retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. government’s trade actions, negatively impacting the U.S. blueberry industry’s ability to compete globally.
To minimize the impact of conflicts with key trading partners, NABC partners with a team of trade experts at Bryant Christie Inc. (BCI) to closely monitor tariff changes, seek tariff reductions in trade agreements, and address and minimize potential retaliatory tariffs on blueberries imposed by foreign governments.
NABC works closely with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and at USDA to address these issues.
Navigating MRL Issues
NABC monitors and engages on maximum residue level (MRL) issues on behalf of the industry. We track all blueberry MRL changes and share with the industry proposed MRL reductions that could potentially be problematic. When an issue is identified, we engage with the registrant and USDA to seek to prevent the change and minimize trade disruptions.