Tougher Trade “Firewall” Needed for Smaller Ag Sectors

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.  According to Politico the bill would give Commerce greater authority to “self-Initiate investigations” to help those less influential sectors combat potential trade manipulation.

Peters said last week, “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.”  He went on to send a letter to Customs and Border Protection, calling for an investigation into tart cherry exports from Turkey.

 

He said 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.  Peters points out in the letter that “Brazil doesn’t appear to have a discernible tart cherry industry.”

 

 

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