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 Milestones

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

State aid: Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on proposed draft Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid Guidelines

Parliament gives green light to EU-Singapore trade and investment protection deals

COVID 19 Vaccine: A new terror or a savior for mankind?

Cyprus President urges collective leadership to address ‘root causes’ of world’s crises

EU Budget 2021 approved: supporting the recovery

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

This is how many people are forcibly displaced worldwide

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 9 April

Smart toys: Your child’s best friend or a creepy surveillance tool?

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

Ukraine: EU report notes continued implementation of the reform agenda though challenges remain

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cows, coffee and sustainable farming

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

Anti-vaccers: does the empty can rattle the most?

EU consumers will soon be able to defend their rights collectively

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

The metamorphosis of the categorical imperative in medical students

How should cities prepare for self-driving cars? Here’s a roadmap

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

Coronavirus Global Response: EIB and Commission pledge additional €4.9 billion

Industry 4.0: Championing Europe’s fourth industrial revolution

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

France: New labour laws for more competitiveness

EU adopts rebalancing measures in reaction to US steel and aluminium tariffs

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

The more we learn about Antarctica, the greater the urgency to act on climate change

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2019: winners of EU’s development journalism award unveiled

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Switzerland to introduce strict restrictions on executive pay

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

The Challenger Within – Mental Health In Romania During Lockdown

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

Why salaries could finally be on the way up

Problems Faced by Young Doctors and What We Can Do About Them

How big data can help us fight climate change faster

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €6 billion to support refugees and local communities in need fully mobilised

Promoting Health in the Brazilian Amazon: one nation but many cultures

Here’s what happened when a charity gave $1,000 each to poor households in Kenya

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

State aid: Commission approves €1.25 billion German measure to recapitalise TUI

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

The EU responds to US challenges by fining Apple with €13 billion

Only international actions can settle the world’s ‘enormous and diverse cross-border challenges’, Qatar tells UN Assembly

Questions & Answers on vaccine negotiations

Brain drain 2017: why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Investment and Financing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): EU and Chinese stakeholders share their views at European Business Summit 2018

World Malaria Day: 7 things to know about the deadly disease

Systems leadership can change the world – but what exactly is it?

Commission launches open access publishing platform for scientific papers

More Stings?

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