A new trade deal could boost the industry’s fortunes by reducing tariffs and quotas, but some worry the country could end up importing some of the most valuable fruit in the world.
The devil fruit industry, which uses about a million trees for its products, is in a precarious position.
Its export markets are shrinking as more and more people worldwide start growing their own food and growing more of their own vegetables, fruits and nuts.
For years, it has struggled to compete against other foreign companies in the burgeoning export market, especially as China, the world’s second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, has taken over the market share of U.S. growers and shifted its production from the United States to countries in the Pacific Rim.
That has made the industry dependent on imports from the U.K. and other countries, said Richard Meehl, an analyst with the International Federation of Fruit Producers, which represents Canada’s industry.
The new deal, if it goes through, would make Canada one of the world leaders in the devil fruit business.
A Canadian company could sell to more than 1,000 countries and countries could buy Canadian products, Meehr said.
The agreement, which is likely to be signed this month, would be the largest ever reached between the countries.
It would create a customs office in the U .
S., and Canada would become the world leader in devil fruit exports, said Kevin Langer, a trade policy analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
That could help the industry keep its position as the world market for Canada’s prized fruit continues to shrink.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that by 2025, the devil tree’s share of the global market for fruits and vegetable exports will fall to 9.3 percent, down from 25.9 percent in 2010.
The industry also depends on the United Kingdom, where exports have dropped by 40 percent since 2008, and France, where imports have dropped to just 0.6 percent of global exports.
But some are worried that the trade deal will have unintended consequences.
Some critics worry that if it is signed, it will allow U.s. producers to sell to China, which has been increasing its demand for U. s. produce.
China, along with other countries in Asia, is now Canada’s largest importer of fruit and vegetables.
China also has a growing export business in China, and U. S. producers are hoping that they will benefit from the deal.
Other critics worry about the impact on other crops that are important to the industry.
U. N. officials have said that the devil plant, a species of hardy tree, could be an important source of protein in crops such as rice, corn and soybeans, which would be harmed by the deal if they were to be subject to the quotas.
Canada has had an export quota for the devil’s fruit since 1974, but since then, it only allows exports to one other country.
The devil’s tree is now grown in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, and exports to the U S. have dropped since 2008.
The export quota has been set at 20 percent of the total value of the product, which amounts to roughly $8 million annually.
Meehr of the Peterson institute said he doesn’t expect that level of exports to change.
“If it is a win for the U s , it would be a win in Canada’s favour,” he said.
“But it would certainly be a loss in other countries.”