Jan 23, 2020
US tart cherry industry continues to fight ‘unfair trade practices’

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Cherry Marketing Institute filed a complaint with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate suspicious shipments of tart cherry juice concentrate from Brazil.

According to a news release, the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB) commissioned a research study on trade flows into the U.S. market. With the studies’ release, Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) moved ahead with a complaint about questionable trade practices by importers from Turkey and Brazil. U.S. tart cherry growers and processors have been plagued by imports of products from Turkey.

In 2018 the U.S. tart cherry industry successfully argued that duty free access to the U.S. market should be revoked for tart cherry juice concentrate from Turkey. Imports of tart cherry juice concentrate from Brazil immediately spiked even though, according to global Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, Brazil produces no tart cherries. Year over year, imports of tart cherry juice concentrate from Brazil saw a 12-fold increase.

This filing highlights the ongoing battle the U.S. tart cherry industry faces in fighting unfair trade practices in an ever-globalizing marketplace. On Jan. 14, 2020 the US International Trade Commission voted negatively in dumping and countervailing duty case raised by U.S. dried tart cherry processors against Turkey. Industry organizations vow to keep fighting unfair trade practices but will also look to USDA- Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for more help.

CMI continues to argue to FAS that tart cherries should not have been excluded from the list of commodities impacted by the U.S.-China trade war. With a newly signed trade agreement, CMI will redouble its efforts to increase exports to China and is hopeful that some of the Chinese purchases of goods include tart cherries. The CIAB will move ahead with a purchase request to USDA-AMS in a bid to help alleviate some of the downward pressure on grower prices that is a result of growing industry inventories.

The Cherry Marketing Institute is national nonprofit organization that was created in 1989 and funded by over 600 cherry growers and processors in four U.S. states whose mission is to increase the demand for U.S. Montmorency tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development, and research. Together, CMI and CIAB work on all facets of the tart cherry industry on behalf of all U.S. tart cherry growers.

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