Tart cherry ruling unexpected

The International Trade Commission has decided not to impose tariffs on imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey contrary to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final decision that Turkey has been selling products at less than fair values into the U.S.

The Dried Tart Cherry Trade Committee filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions with the commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce last year to take action against unfair trade practices.

If the commission ruled in favor of the U.S. cherry industry, tariffs up to nearly 630 percent would have been put in place, instead, all commissioners voted against implementing tariffs.  In mid-February, the commission will be releasing its report on the decision which the cherry industry could appeal.

Michigan grower Mike Van Agtmael tells Brownfield even with consumption up as consumers realize the health benefits of tart cherries, the U.S. industry is struggling. “I don’t think there’s a grower out there that’s making money today.”

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters say they are outraged that the decision ignores facts and they will continue to fight for a leveling playing field for cherry growers.

Michigan produces about two-thirds of the nation’s tart cherries.

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