CCM concerned over Chinese tariffs
CCM president Joel Nelsen says 15% tariff by Chinese government on U.S. fruits will assuredly have impact on citrus producers
EXETER – Over the last decade farmers have had to contend with the record setting drought, hard freezes and the potentially industry-destroying Asian citrus psyllid. As of Monday, they may now have to deal with the impact of 15% Chinese tariff increases on $3 billion worth of exports that include 128 goods in fruit as well as pork, meat and steel pipes.
“The decision by the Chinese government to levy exorbitant tariff increases on U.S. produce will surely have a direct impact on California citrus producers. Maintaining access to foreign markets and having the ability to compete in a global market place are critical to the success of the citrus industry,” California Citrus Mutual (CCM) president Joel Nelsen said in a press release on Monday.
The Chinese government says the tariffs are in direct response to the increased tariffs president Donald Trump put into place on steel and aluminum.
“The retaliatory tariffs imposed by China hinders our ability to be competitive by increasing costs for Chinese consumers, an important market for California citrus. Family farmers in our industry will suffer from the economic fallout unless we can find alternative markets for California’s navel and Valencia oranges and lemons,” Nelsen went on to say.
The CCM president continued on by noting how agriculture was almost a bystander in the entire trade war stating the Chinese government chose to expand the discussion to agriculture instead of just “those business sectors requiring attention,” like steel and aluminum.
“[The] Chinese indicated last week in a statement that constructive talks could alleviate the real issues, yet insufficient time was given to accomplish that objective. Now Chinese consumers and California citrus producers are innocent parties to a trade debate,” Nelsen said
Nelsen and CCM executive vice president Casey Creamer and board chairman Curt Holmes are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week for meetings with the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration regarding trade and other important issues affecting the California citrus industry.