Mexico announced today the lifting of a 20 percent tariff on U.S. apples, after the U.S. announced on May 17 the end of tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum.

“We welcome the return of duty-free access to Mexico, our largest export market, and continued duty-free access to Canada, our No. 2 market,” said Jim Bair, U.S. Apple Association president and CEO, in a news statement. Combined, Mexico and Canada represent a half-billion-dollar market for U.S. apple growers.

Mexico imposed the tariff on apples, and a long list of other items, in June 2018, in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs.

“The U.S. Apple Association commends the Trump Administration for the removal of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum on Mexico and Canada and the successful negotiation of provisions going forward to protect agriculture from being drawn into future trade disputes involving metals,” Bair said.

According to the statement, removal of the Section 232 tariffs and ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement have been top priorities for the association. “Our efforts are now focused on securing congressional support and ratification of the USMCA, which will provide increased stability and predictability going forward,” Bair said.

—by Jonelle Mejica