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ITC Blueberries Decision Heads Off Potential Retaliation Concerns

March 2, 2021

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) unanimously voted Feb. 11 to reject import restrictions on blueberries from Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Chile and Peru, ending the threat of retaliatory tariffs against U.S. dairy exports.

In testimony before USTR in August, NMPF Senior Vice President Jaime Castaneda urged the commission to avoid putting U.S. dairy producers again in the crosshairs of a trade dispute with Mexico. Per U.S. census data, over $1.4 billion of U.S. dairy products were sold to Mexico in 2020 – a market that would be at risk if tariffs on blueberry imports from Mexico are imposed.

NMPF in December joined 34 other agriculture and food groups to write the US Trade Representative (USTR) opposing limitations on blueberry imports. This broader coalition effort also secured a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional letter from Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) arguing against action that would invite subsequent retaliation against U.S. agricultural exports.