For years, there have been claims that Michigan cherry growers have faced an unlevel playing field when it comes to selling their harvest. Now, US senator Gary Peters has argued Turkey has dumped low-quality dried cherries into US markets, creating a trade imbalance that has harmed Michigan cherry growers.
In January, the US International Trade Commission decided not to put tariffs on Turkish cherry imports citing they need more data on the imports. Senator Peters announced this week the trade commission will now start to track those Turkish imports to try and determine the actual impact they have on the market and our growers.
“Certainly, I was dismayed, as all of us were, when we looked at the decision earlier this year that the ITC ruled against cherry growers and processors in Traverse City. It was a wrong decision, and they were basically using data from the Turks, which made no sense,” Senator Peters said. “It’s critical that we have our own data and to have it specific to drive tart cherries. That data will start to be collected July 1, and I believe it is going to show very clearly what growers and processors in Traverse City know all too well, that Turkey’s dumping of this product is having a devastating impact on the industry here in our state.”
According to upnorthlive.com, Northern Michigan produces about 70 percent of the nation's domestic cherry crop. It's a multimillion-dollar industry, but many local growers say they are actually losing money year after year when harvesting.