By Senators Sellar, Newhouse, Deccio and Rasmussen


     WHEREAS, The apple industry is a vital component of Washington's economy, generating over one billion dollars in revenue annually, and constituting the number one agricultural commodity in the state; and

     WHEREAS, Over thirty-four percent of Washington's apple crop is exported to markets outside the United States; and

     WHEREAS, Mexico is the largest single export market for Washington and United States apple producers, representing between seventy-five and  one hundred million dollars in sales; and

     WHEREAS, Mexico imposed a 101.1 percent preliminary duty on United States red delicious and golden delicious apples on September 1, 1997, as a result of an antidumping petition filed by the Chihuahua Regional Agricultural Association of Fruit Producers; and

     WHEREAS, An additional ten percent import duty is levied on all apple varieties including red and golden delicious under the North American Free Trade Agreement; and

     WHEREAS, Numerous agricultural commodities that are produced and exported from Mexico have a ready and open access to markets in the United States, including Washington State; and

     WHEREAS, Previous and current Legislatures and Governors of Washington have forged long-term bonds of friendship and cooperation with Mexico, including numerous official exchange and joint assistance programs throughout our histories; and

     WHEREAS, It is the hope of the Washington State Senate that our ties of cooperation will be strengthened through the removal of this economically devastating 101.1 percent preliminary duty, and that both nations may experience mutual expansion of our agricultural commodity trade;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Washington expresses its deep concern over the imposition of the current 101.1 percent preliminary duty imposed on Washington apples by Mexico.