By RYAN HARRISAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — It’s one of the best-known foods in the U, but it’s also the fruit of a nation.
The apple has been the focus of decades of political controversy, from the civil rights movement to the Great Recession.
And it’s not something that would be easy to import into the U.-S.
territory of Guam.
The U.N. has called for a moratorium on importing apple products.
“We’re in the process of looking at our export laws, but there’s no doubt we’ve been unfairly singled out as the only fruit in the country to be prohibited,” said Michael P. O’Connor, director of international affairs for the American-Gambian Association of Fruit Growers.
O’Connor said he’s working with his members and other industry groups to make the case that Guam should import apples.
Guam already has some of the world’s largest apple farms, including a farm in the small island nation’s central valley.
“As far as Guam goes, if you’re trying to import something that’s not our fruit, I would have to ask them to go back to the U-N,” he said.
The U.K.-based FAO says the U/S relationship is so close that there’s been no shortage of products.
It estimates that a typical shipment of apples costs the U the equivalent of about 30 percent of its value in U.A.F. export credits, a measure of what the government pays for the fruit.
But the UAW and other trade groups say U.B.C. is charging far too high a price for fruit.
“It’s just not fair to us,” said Mark A. M. Tully, vice president for international trade at the UB/FAO.
“We’re the only export economy that’s going to import it.”
The UB fruit trade program has helped Guam grow some of its biggest exports.
It exports about a third of its annual fruit and about 20 percent of exports to Asia.
But that is an export program that doesn’t generate much income for the UBC.
The program’s budget was cut last year by half, and some growers have complained they’ve had to shut down for months at a time.
Tully said that could change in a matter of months.
“If we can get more people on board, we can do more in the next few months than we have now,” he told the AP.
He said there is a growing recognition among fruit growers that the UBI is too high.
He said it is “not sustainable” for growers to continue to make up for lost exports while trying to grow a small-scale business.
In January, the FAO said it was calling on the UN. to reconsider its proposal for a “harmonized agricultural program” and that it would consider extending a moratorium.
But the UUDAU and its allies say that would only encourage more growers to follow in their footsteps.
“I would be surprised if it was not the fruit growers who were making this decision because they are really looking at the long-term benefits,” said Tully.