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The rapid growth of U.S. fresh produce imports has significant implications for many facets of the U.S. fresh produce industry and consumers as well. Fresh produce imports generally complement domestic production, because of seasonal differences in availability. Since supplies of most U.S.-produced fruits and vegetables are highest in summer and lowest in winter, increased fresh produce imports in the off-seasons make it possible to meet seasonal shortages in U.S. production. In addition, imports can reduce supply volatility even in normal U.S. producing seasons. We measure significant effects of imports, especially for fruits, in reducing domestic price levels and smoothing price fluctuations.


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