The Mexican government has terminated an antidumping case filed by growers in the border state of Chihuahua and will not impose antidumping duties on U.S. apples.

The decision reverses a provisional ruling in January under which all but three U.S. exporters would have had to pay duties ranging from 2.44 percent to 20.82 percent. Most of the others faced an average duty of 7.55 percent.

Flag of Mexico.

Flag of Mexico.

Mexico is the leading export market for U.S. apples, and roughly 85 percent of those exports come from Washington.

“We are very pleased with the announcement,” says Fred Scarlett, manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters, which argued the case on behalf of the industry, directed by its Apple and Pear Commodity Committee Governing Board, with assistance from the Northwest Horticultural Council and others.

To allege that dumping occurred, domestic producers must not only show whether products were exported at fair market value, but also that domestic producers suffered injury as a direct result of those imports, Scarlett said.

“In this case, the domestic industry was unable to prove that injury was caused by imports from the United States,” he said. “They actually had a record crop the year they filed the case against us, and that was a big factor in their injury.”

The decision, published June 7 in the Mexican government’s federal register, is the culmination of some 18 months of work in the United States to disprove the dumping claim and stave off provisional duties.

The Chihuahua growers’ association UNIFRUT, alleged in December 2014 that U.S. apples entered the Mexican market in 2013 at below fair market value. The arm of the Mexican government that investigates international trade practices, the Ministry of Economy or Economia, launched an investigation.

About 40 U.S. apple companies submitted information to Economia, and a sample of those were selected to submit additional information for the ongoing investigation, among them some of the biggest apple shippers in the world.

Based in Yakima, Washington, the Northwest Fruit Exporters provided educational materials to growers during the process to ensure messages were delivered consistently, which reduced the number of questions and concerns by the Mexican government, Scarlett said.

Among Washington growers, Mexico is a critical export market for shippers of Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples.

Mexican trade officials last imposed duties on U.S. shipments from 1996 to 2010. They were lifted after a NAFTA review panel determined they had used outdated calculations.