Big Apple delegation pushes bills easing apple exports

Under the Export Apple Act, apples exported from the United States into Canada have to be inspected twice before shipment. Gillibrand said that if the apples were inspected only once, it would save approximately $300 per truckload.

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Last week, Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill, H.R. 1298, which would permit the export of apples to Canada in bulk bins without certification by the Department of Agriculture. Gillibrand said she would introduce a similar measure in the Senate.

As part of Obama’s Presidential Export Council, Gillbrand met with the Obama administration to discuss apple exports earlier this month.

“I would like to work together to exempt bulk shipments of apples to Canada from double inspection,” Gillibrand wrote in a follow-up letter to Obama on Wednesday. “This farmer friendly, streamlining practice would eliminate the unnecessary American inspection and its burdensome fee, to help expand this market for our apple producers.”

Gillibrand pointed to the fact that Congress passed a law in 1999 to exempt pears from the double inspections and argued there is no reason for apples to be treated differently.

New York is the second largest apple-producing state, behind Washington. Gillibrand and Owen said their suggestion would save New York farmers $450,000 a year.

“New York State is home to some of the world’s best apples and hardest working growers,” Gillibrand wrote. “Our farmers play a vital role in the economic development and food security of the state.”