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

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

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

‘Air bridge’ vaccination operation begins for Ebola-hit communities in DR Congo

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Landmark agreement will protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China

This man swam under the East Antarctic ice sheet to highlight the impact of climate change

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

How poor countries can deal with the economic shock of COVID-19

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

EU budget: Commission takes steps to make €11.5 billion available for crisis repair and recovery in 2020

Africa’s Sahel must be a top priority for UN peacebuilding efforts, says commission

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Mental Health: starting with myself

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

Can a package from China cause Coronavirus infection? Debunking the top 7 Coronavirus myths!

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Solidarity Corps: more opportunities for young people

The succesful cooperation

Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

COVID-19: What to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 6 April

Turning Europe into a giant wind farm could power the entire world

Businesses succeed internationally

4 reasons cities should embrace Universal Basic Income

Amid troop build-up in Rohingya’s home state, UN appeals to Myanmar for peaceful solution

Brexit talks: 2nd round fails to bring the EU and the UK closer on key issues

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

Commission proposes to top up support for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

3 things you need to know about securing a blockchain

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

Greece may offer to China a European gateway

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – Middle East and North Africa

Everybody against Germany over the expensive euro

Sustainable Development Summit: ‘We must step up our efforts – now’, Guterres declares

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

France, Germany challenge Trump’s America on Iran and the reign of the dollar

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

US cities are going to keep getting hotter

Tax revenues have reached a plateau

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

New York high school students are getting free water bottles to cut plastic waste

Digital IDs and the Digital Economy: the (still) missing link?

Workers want flexibility. After COVID, they just might get it: Poll

3 things to know about women in STEM

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Court of Auditors: MEPs back five members

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