Imports are vital and increasingly important in ensuring fresh fruit and vegetables are available year-round in the United States. Since the 2008 completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable imports have increased with few interruptions, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
Between 2007 and 2021, the percentage of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable availability supplied by imports grew from 50 to 60 percent for fresh fruit and from 20 to 38 percent for fresh vegetables. The import share increased by more than 20 percentage points during this period for ten crops: asparagus, avocados, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, raspberries, snap beans, and tomatoes.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, implemented on July 1, 2020, continues NAFTA’s market access provisions for fruit and vegetables. In 2022, Mexico and Canada supplied 51 percent and two percent, respectively, of U.S. fresh fruit imports, and 69 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of U.S. fresh vegetable imports in terms of value.