New Market Access in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Imports to the United States
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Imports of fresh fruits and vegetables to the United States have grown by more than 350 percent since 1989. Factors such as rising consumer incomes, the desire for greater variety and availability of fresh produce throughout the year, and a reduction in trade barriers through multi-lateral and bi-lateral trade agreements have contributed to this growth in imports. In addition, since the implementation of the Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures from the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization negotiations, there have been numerous requests to export fresh fruits and vegetables to the United States. From 1996 to 2008, the United States has granted new market access to 204 exporter/commodity combinations. Given this large increase in new market access, this thesis assesses the success of the new entrants in terms of contributing to the increase in fresh fruit and vegetable imports and whether they exported on a continual basis after gaining import eligibility. In addition, this thesis estimates a gravity model to assess the differences in fresh fruit and vegetable exports from new entrants subject to phytosanitary measures relative to those with no such restrictions in place and to determine whether these effects vary by commodity sector and exporterâ s size. The major finding of this thesis is that in general, new entrants have contributed little to the growth in U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable imports. For most commodities, new entrants do not provide a significant proportion of imports potentially because new entrants are not able to compete with existing suppliers. This study finds differences in fresh fruit and vegetable exports from new entrants subject to specific phytosanitary treatments relative to entrants with no such restrictions in place.
- Masters Theses