Japan has specific labeling requirements for products -- including fresh produce commodities -- that have been treated with post-harvest fungicides.  Japanese regulations require the name of the post-harvest fungicide to be identified at the point of sale (These regulations only apply to post-harvest treatment and not when a fungicide is applied prior to harvest).  Reports have indicated that these requirements have had a negative impact on U.S. fresh produce sales in Japan.

Congestion at West Coast ports is having a negative impact on the ability to export fresh fruit, vegetables, and tree nuts all while the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) continue contract negotiations.  The two sides have been negotiating a new contract since May.  The previous contract expired July 1, 2014.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel ruled against the United States for a second time reaffirming that its revised U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) measure for meat fails to comply with the WTO’s original ruling against it. While this ruling does not affect COOL for fresh fruits and vegetables, the consequence of the U.S. failing to comply, or being successful in a final appeal, could result in Canada and Mexico issuing retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., including tariffs on fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. However, in the near term, pending the appeal outcome, no retaliatory action is expected on these items.

Ken Gilliland

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