CAGW Declares Victory in Lifting of Avocado Import Restrictions | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Declares Victory in Lifting of Avocado Import Restrictions

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Tom Finnigan
December 2, 2004(202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today applauded the decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve expanded market access for Mexican Hass avocados to most of the U.S. for all 12 months of the year.  Restrictions will remain in place for three states California, Florida and Hawaii for two more years.

More than 9,000 CAGW members submitted comments to USDA in support of expanded market access, representing more than half of all comments submitted. 

“CAGW members from across the country joined in this effort because they objected to the trade barriers and burdensome regulations that restricted access to Mexican avocados,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said.  “The facts no longer justified keeping import restrictions in place.  Lifting the limits will significantly lower the price of avocados for consumers, and reduce costs for taxpayers.”

Prior to this decision, Mexican Hass avocados had been only allowed to be imported into 31 states from October 15 through April 15.  In the past, such restrictions have been based on the argument that there was an unacceptable risk of a pest infestation of domestic avocados.  However, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) concluded that the Mexican Hass avocado industry has adequate safeguards to prevent a risk of pest infestation, and recommended to the USDA that the restrictions be removed.

“This decision will provide a major benefit to U.S. consumers, both in choice of product and cost.  Consumption of avocados in the United States could increase by 70 percent and the price of avocados to U.S. consumers could fall by as much as 37 percent,” Schatz concluded.  “The overall gain to the U.S. economy would be more than $30 million.  Finally, taxpayers will no longer bear the cost of administering the complex regulations governing avocado imports.”

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