Two reports out of Washington during January addressed tariff mitigation and enhanced inspections for products going into Taiwan directly affect the domestic onion industry.
The first missive came in a Jan. 16 report from the USDA FAS Gain Report, linked at Taiwan 2019 Enhanced Inspection List for U.S. Products, and provided a list of products that the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration has subjected to a “heighted 20-50 percent inspection rate for chemical residues.” It said, “For the duration of 2019, all U.S origin broccoli, lettuce, and onions will be subject to enhanced inspection rates when entering Taiwan. The enhanced inspection list is available on the TFDA website.”
Two weeks later on Jan. 31, word came in a release from the office of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that the USDA has awarded $200 million to 57 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program “to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets.”
“At USDA, we are always looking to expand existing markets or open new ones, so we are proud to make good on the third leg of the President’s promise to America’s farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “This infusion will help us develop other markets and move us away from being dependent on one large customer for our agricultural products. This is seed money, leveraged by hundreds of millions of dollars from the private sector, that will help to increase our agricultural exports.”
Theresa Yoshioka, International Trade Manager at the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Ag Development and Marketing Division, told OnionBusiness that the ATP funds were approved for promotion of onions in Mexico and Canada.
“These ATP projects will be managed by the lead states of Oregon, Idaho and Utah through the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association,” Theresa said. “We are very excited to increase awareness of the quality onions that we produce in the United States.”
Of the $200 million disbursed, WUSTA received nearly $7.5 million.