Tougher Trade “Firewall” Needed for Smaller Ag Sectors

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Print

Senators Gary Peters of Michigan and Richard Burr of North Carolina are working on bipartisan legislation to give the U.S Commerce Department a greater ability to defend smaller segments of agriculture.

Politico says the bill would give the department greater authority to “self-Initiate investigations” to help those less influential sectors combat potential trade manipulation.  Peters says, “If you’re a big industry, such as the steel industry, you can hire an army of lawyers and economists to push back against unfairly subsidized trade by foreign governments.

If you’re a smaller industry like cherries or blueberries or other agricultural products, it’s a lot more difficult.” Peters sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection this week, calling for an investigation into tart cherry exports from Turkey.

He says shortly after the U.S. slapped duties on cherries from Turkey back in 2018, cherry exports from Brazil surged as much as 1,200 percent. He points out in the letter that “Brazil doesn’t appear to have a discernible tart cherry industry.”