Chinese Tariffs Hit Washington Cherries Pt 1

Chinese Tariffs Hit Washington Cherries Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson.

Washington cherry growers are worried the recent increase in Chinese tariffs on U.S. fruit imports are going to hurt.

Washington Fruit Commission president BJ Thurlby says Monday's announcement from China is not welcome news ...

THURLBY ... "Well, it's really a concerning development. For my growers, it's very disappointing because we're in the cherry business here in this state and China happens to be our largest offshore export market."

Thurlby says Washington growers ship between two and three million 20-pound boxes of cherries every year, so it's a key market ...

THURLBY ... "We already had a 10 percent tariff on our fruit going into China, but this adding another 15 percent, you know, it's going to make it that much harder, that's all there is to it."

A trade war with China, Thurlby says is bad for all of our fruit growers ...

THURLBY ... "You know, over here in Eastern Washington, we've got apples, pears, cherries, all of them are on the list. So, as an industry, we're scrambling a little bit right now."

He says it will be interesting to see if Chinese consumers will be willing to pay more for our cherries ...

THURLBY ... "You know, we still plan on selling cherries to China, make no mistake, I just think the challenge will be that the value proposition for the Chinese consumer all of the sudden just went up. And so, we're going to lose some consumers there that probably aren't going to spend a little bit of extra, you know, that extra 15 percent to buy our cherries."

Listen tomorrow for more on this growing trade dispute with China.

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