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About This Product

Product Overview

Increased trade in fresh fruits and vegetables provides U.S. consumers with a variety of benefits including the possibility of improved nutrition by making fresh fruits and vegetables available year-round. Imports of these products are regulated by USDA's Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) to reduce the risk of inadvertent entry of pests and diseases that could harm agriculture, public health, navigation, irrigation, natural resources, or the environment.

This data product identifies which countries, under APHIS phytosanitary rules, are eligible to export to the United States the fresh fruits and vegetables that are most important in the American diet. Data on the absolute and relative importance of these countries in international fruit and vegetable production and trade, individually and in aggregate, are also included. Having access to information on countries that are currently eligible to export these products to the United States lays the foundation for better understanding trade patterns and can underpin analyses of the market effects of phytosanitary rules. This data product supports the objectives of the Program for Research on the Economics of Invasive Species (PREISM) under which ERS, between 2003 and 2008, funded and conducted research in consultation with APHIS and other USDA agencies to improve the economic basis of decisionmaking concerning invasive species issues, policies, and programs.

Why This Product Is Important

Under international trade rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), sanitary and phytosanitary regulations that prohibit or restrict imports of products to combat the potential entry and establishment of pests or diseases are permitted if based on scientific risk assessment. The use of these regulations by countries is widespread. In the United States, APHIS regulates imports of fresh fruits and vegetables under the Plant Protection Act (PPA) of 2000. Advances in science and technology are helping APHIS design less trade restrictive measures that reduce phytosanitary risks while allowing imports that may lower costs or extend seasonal availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to U.S. consumers. Having access to information on countries that are eligible to export these products to the United States can underpin analyses of the market effects of existing import rules and potential changes in these rules. This data product can also facilitate economic analyses of other programs and policies related to trade in fresh fruits and vegetables that are of interest to market participants, international trade and standards organizations, and development agencies.

This data product provides a snapshot of country/product eligibility for use in economic analysis; it does not provide real time information on the import status of a country. Changes in phytosanitary regulations that might occur as the result of recent policy decisions or following an outbreak, are published throughout the year by APHIS. For the most current information, see APHIS Import and Export Information.

Last updated: Thursday, July 05, 2012

For more information contact: Peyton Ferrier