"Over the last decade, there has been a growing U.S. trade deficit in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Although U.S. fruit and vegetable exports totaled $7 billion in 2013, U.S. imports of fruits and vegetables exceeded $16 billion, resulting in a gap between imports and exports of $9.2 billion (excludes nuts and processed nut products). This trade deficit has widened over time as growth in imports has outpaced export growth. As a result, the United States has gone from being a net exporter of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the early 1970s to being a net importer of fruits and vegetables today. A number of factors shaping current competitive market conditions worldwide, and global trade in fruits and vegetables in particular, partially explain the rising fruit and vegetable trade deficit. These include:  a relatively open domestic import regime and lower average import tariffs in the United States, with products from most leading suppliers entering the U.S. duty-free or at preferential duty rates;  increased competition from low-cost or government-subsidized production;  continued non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. exports in some countries, such as import and inspection requirements, technical product standards, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements;  opportunities for counter-seasonal supplies, driven in part by increased domestic and year-round demand for fruits and vegetables; and  other market factors, such as exchange rate fluctuations and structural changes in the U.S. food industry, as well as increased U.S. overseas investment and diversification in market sourcing by U.S. companies."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34468
National Agricultural Law Center: http://nationalaglawcenter.org/