Rep. Wendzel fights for Michigan’s cherry growers amid unfair trade threat

Categories: Wendzel News

State Rep. Pauline Wendzel voted in favor of a resolution that would throw the state’s support behind a petition to protect Michigan’s domestic cherry industry from foreign product being sold at artificially low prices.

“Southwest Michigan produces nearly 30 million pounds of cherries every year,” Wendzel said.  “In addition to facing a brutal winter, the livelihood of our cherry farmers is threatened by a foreign nation.  The resolution that was voted on today will show our local fruit farmers that their State has their back.”

Today, the Turkish government subsidizes both their growers and processors. For the past three years, dried cherry imports have doubled every year. The price of Turkish dried cherries is a mere .97 cents a pound compared to a domestic price of 4.50 per pound. These markets that Turkey is taking advantage of were built and developed by the U.S. cherry industry.

The House Resolution supports the U.S. cherry industry’s petition before the U.S. International Trade Commission and urges the Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to protect U.S. cherry farmers.

The petition was filed on April 23 by five dried cherry processors: Michigan’s Shoreline Fruit LLC, Cherry Central Cooperative, Smeltzer Orchard Co., Graceland Fruit Inc. and Utah-based Payson Fruit Growers Co-op. The International Trade Commission is expected to issue a final ruling on the petition in early 2020.