WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2014 – California citrus producers can once again export their products to China after a 16-month suspension, USDA announced today.

China banned California-origin citrus in April 2013 after finding brown rot, a soil fungus that affects stored fruit, in some shipments, USDA said in a news release.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the market-reopening was “the result of a lot of effort by a number of USDA employees, who worked very closely with their foreign counterparts to resolve China’s concerns.” Vilsack also addressed the issue with Chinese officials during the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in December 2013.

The final resolution came between USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ). The agreement to allow exports to resume was reached earlier this month, USDA said.

California’s citrus exports to China are valued at $30 million annually, USDA said.


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