Why Trump’s tariffs are good news for US garlic farmers

Garlic

(Sébastien Marchand, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.


Unlike millions of other U.S. farmers, garlic growers are profiting from the trade war with China and have cheered President Donald Trump’s latest economic attack accordingly.

Sales of California-grown garlic are now increasing after decades of losing ground to cheaper Chinese imports. Sales are poised to get even better as Chinese garlic faces even higher tariffs, with no end to the trade war in sight.

“In a perfect world, we’d love to see the tariffs stay on forever,” said Ken Christopher, executive vice president of family owned Christopher Ranch, the largest of three remaining commercial garlic producers in the United States.

While many farmers are suffering through the trade war because they relied heavily on imports to China, U.S. garlic growers benefit because they rely overwhelmingly on domestic sales.

Tariffs on Chinese garlic increased from 10 to 25 percent on May 9, when the U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and dashed hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could come soon.

While soybean farmers in the U.S. Midwest watched silos fill with unsold crops as top buyer China all but stopped purchases, Christopher Ranch saw domestic garlic sales rise 15 percent in the last quarter of 2018 after the U.S. applied a 10 percent tariff on imports of Chinese garlic in September.

Then Trump ordered even higher tariffs this month after trade talks broke down when China backtracked on a host of issues crucial to U.S. officials.

The escalation came just a few weeks before the U.S. garlic harvest.

“The timing couldn’t be better for us,” Christopher said. “We anticipate a surge in demand for California garlic in the coming weeks.”

Christopher, 33, whose farm has 59,000 acres of grass-like garlic fields in Gilroy, California, traveled to Washington D.C. in July to urge the Trump administration to include garlic in the list of imports that would face tariffs.

In lobbying for tariffs, Christopher follows in the footsteps of his father, who fought to implement an anti-dumping duty of up to 400 percent on Chinese garlic in the 1990s.

“We understand in a broader economic sense that a trade war is not in the U.S. best interest,” he said, “But since the tariffs were happening anyway, we needed to be sure that garlic was part of the equation.”

Not everyone is a fan of the garlic tariff. While Christopher was testifying in favor of tariffs to congressional committees, executives from one of the world’s top seasoning companies, McCormick & Company Inc., were arguing against them.

McCormick says its recipes mostly rely on Chinese garlic, calling it a different product from what is grown in the United States.

“They’re not substitutable,” CEO Lawrence Kurzius told Reuters in an interview. “Just like wine, origin matters and terroir matter.”

Taste differences aside, California garlic has traditionally sold at far higher prices than Chinese garlic. It now sells for about $60 per 30-pound box on the wholesale market, according to Christopher. Until recently, Chinese garlic sold for $20 per box, but that has risen to $40 with tariffs and will likely soon rise further, he said.

The new profits U.S. garlic farmers have enjoyed from tariffs are an exception in the U.S. farm sector.

China last year retaliated to Trump’s tariffs with duties on U.S. goods including soybeans, corn and pork.

 

Trump has pledged up to an additional $20 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers hurt by the prolonged dispute after groups such as the American Soybean Association criticized the failure to reach a deal. That’s on top of $12 billion the administration promised last year to compensate farmers for trade-war losses.

The trade war has also left many West Coast specialty crop farmers, like nut and cherry growers, scrambling to find alternative markets after China imposed steep duties on imports that made their products too expensive to sell there.

Jamie Johansson, an olive farmer and president of the California farm bureau – which represents 400 crops and 36,000 members – said the Trump administration had put California farmers in the middle of tariff wars with four of the state’s five top markets, including China.

“Among our members, I have not heard of anyone benefiting from the current trade war and tariffs,” Johansson said.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Trade Barriers Report: EU continues to open up markets outside Europe in midst of rising protectionism

EU recovery and long-term budget: Leaders must do better

Economy and living standards of Gaza ‘eviscerated’ by crippling blockade – UN trade and development report

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “We need more Schengen but reinforce control!”, France’s Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron emphasises from Davos

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

Parmesan cheese on shelves in Italy (Copyright: European Union, 2014 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Daniela Giusti)

CETA at risk again: Italy says it won’t ratify EU-Canada trade deal over product protection fears

If Macron defies Britain about the banks, Paris and London to clash over ‘La Manche’

How to get ageing populations to invest in their health

In post-COVID Latin America, investment in infrastructure can bring back tourism – and rebuild the economy

This Canadian company transforms plastic waste into building materials

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

UN chief calls for ‘far greater support’ for Cyclone Idai response

EU budget 2021-2027: Commission calls on leaders to set out a roadmap towards an autumn agreement

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

UN chief calls for ‘green and clean’ development in message for Africa Industrialization Day

Court of Auditors: MEPs back five members

Switzerland fast-tracks emergency aid for small businesses weathering COVID-19

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

The EU to fight cross-border tax evasion with a toothless directive

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

China in my eyes

We are stronger than this pandemic (COVID-19)

Will satellites destroy our view of space?

US resolution to condemn activities of Hamas voted down in General Assembly

Final turnout data for 2019 European elections announced

Can the EU assume the mantle of global leadership?

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

Is Germany closer to Russia than the West? Nord Stream II and Iran count more

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

Trade in digital services is booming. Here’s how we can unleash its full potential

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

In wake of ‘collapsed’ agreement, new wave of violence threatens millions in Syria’s Idlib

The ‘abuse of food relief in Yemen’ must end now

Eurozone economy desperately needs internally driven growth

Listen to the future – how 26 youth-led organizations are supercharging the UN’s Global Goals

Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire

Healthcare workers’ safety: a forgotten necessity

5 things you might not know about forests – but should

2021-2027 EU Budget: €378,1 billion to benefit all regions

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

Ireland: prepare now for rising fiscal pressures, external risks

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

Egypt: The road to hell paved with western advices for democracy

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

COVID-19 has disrupted cybersecurity, too – here’s how businesses can decrease their risk

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

Water reuse: Commission proposes measures to make it easier and safer for agricultural irrigation

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

These countries have the most doctors and nurses

Commission’s report shows that targeted investment and robust digital policies boost Member States’ performance

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s