China wants in on the U.S. apple market
Despite a bumper crop this year in a few states, China still produced roughly half of the world's crop. Beijing is using its clout to press for expanded access to the long-restricted American market.
China is the OPEC of apples, producing roughly half of the world?ˉs crop, and it is using its clout to press for expanded access to the long-restricted American market. But Beijing must first convince the U.S. Department of Agriculture that its apples are safe to eat and will not bring pesticides that could destroy crops and appetites alike.
Once that happens, U.S. growers fear, Chinese apples could flood American grocery stores and become a popular ingredient in apple pies, boasting a significant price advantage over domestically grown Granny Smiths, Winesaps and Fujis.
"Access to the U.S. market has been a top priority for China," said Mark Seetin, director of regulatory and industry affairs at the U.S. Apple Association, an industry trade group.
China produces nearly 10 times as many apples as American farmers, so it would have much more to gain from opening the U.S. market, where 80 percent of the country's apples come from Washington state.