The headlines were big and the noise loud about a proposed rule allowing specific Chinese citrus into the United States. The release was a surprise albeit it had been pending for five years. The rule is specific to the following varieties: pomelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange & Satsuma mandarin. USDA/APHIS has developed a “systems approach” that allegedly prevents the introduction of identified pests and diseases part of which requires individually bagged fruit prior to harvest and in transit.
CCM suspects this was a carrot elevated to create momentum to eliminate tariff barriers on citrus. Meetings with Administration officials confirmed this. In essence, no final rule unless tariffs are removed. Nevertheless, CCM has initiated a technical review of the document with consultants and disturbing flaws are being discovered in the proposal. At this time it appears Citrus Mutual will be filing comments opposing the introduction of Chinese citrus based on the proposal as written.