Apr 21, 2017
Washington state raspberry growers feel the pinch

The Washington Red Raspberry Commission has responded to several growers’ concerns over disruption in the raspberry markets from imported raspberries. “There is concern that raspberries may be coming into the U.S. at prices that are below the costs to grow and pack (anti-dumping) or discounted due to government subsidies that benefit our foreign competitors (countervailing duties),” WRRC said in a news release. “Both these practices are in violation of International trade laws.

WRRC engaged Washington, D.C. legal firm King and Spalding to review the data concerning this issue and provide the group with advice on options to pursue. That work is underway.

“WRRC remains committed to good working relationships with our foreign competitors to grow the raspberry market worldwide,” the release stated.

“The National Processed Raspberry Council is making good progress on both these goals,” it stated. “However, the WRRC will not stand by while domestic producers are overwhelmed by unfairly low-priced imports. The industry intends to call attention to unfair trade practices whenever they exist and make use of the tools available to us to ensure a fair and legal opportunity for all to sell in raspberry markets in the United States.”

King and Spalding will assist berry growers in monitoring 2017 imports and sales and will assist the WRRC in making a determination of the potential of success in an anti-dumping, counter vailing duties, or Section 201 (Safeguard) case, according to the release.

“WRRC has used the tools provided by law in the past as means to maintain fair market conditions so that our growers can operate sustainably,” it said. “Ensuring Fair Trade practices is a necessary element of building an improved demand for red raspberries worldwide.”

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