Russia’s import ban on U.S. farm products won’t affect Calif. growers: expert says

Russia’s import ban on U.S. farm products won’t affect Calif. growers: expert says

Russia's ban on food imports from the United States, Canada and other western countries will not have a major impact on California farmers, an expert assured.

Director Dan Sumner, of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, pointed out that Russia is not a big purchaser of California's agricultural products, ranking 15th in the world.

California's biggest export item to Russia is almonds, but as per Mr. Sumner's estimates, merely 3 per cent of almonds shipped overseas from the Golden State go to Russia. He admitted that Russia is an important market but not a big deal.

Commenting on Russia's move, Mr. Summer said, "That's not a trivial market. It's important to some exporters, but it's not a big deal."

Russia retaliated Thursday for sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine by banning most food imports from the West, including the U. S., Canada and Australia.

Retaliating to trade bans by the United States and other western countries over the Ukraine crisis, Russia on Thursday banned most food imports from the western countries. The ban covers all imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and milk products from the United States, Canada, all 28 EU countries, Norway and Australia. It ban is scheduled to last for one year.

Washington dismissed Russia's ban as trivial to the United States and destructive to Russians. During 2013, the United States exported $1.3 billion worth of food & agricultural goods to Russia, including nearly $300 million worth of poultry products.

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