Lawmaker issues statement regarding federal government’s ruling
The federal government announced this week that it will not implement preliminary tariffs placed on imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey. Despite bipartisan support to enforce tolls on Turkish cherry imports, the International Trade Commission made the decision to allow the trade practices to continue. State Rep. Jack O’Malley, who sponsored a House resolution last fall requesting the federal government to impose tariffs, released the following statement today:
“I am outraged by the outcome of this misguided ruling,” O’Malley said. “The effects of this decision are going to be felt in northwest Michigan, our state as a whole, and across the entire country.
“Michigan’s cherry producers are the backbone of the U.S. cherry industry, as I have said several times in the past, supplying 75% of cherries in the marketplace. Unfortunately, their livelihood continues to be threatened by a foreign nation that is gaming the system.
“These trade practices of low-priced Turkish imports are unfair, and frankly, it concerns me that the federal government has sided against helping its own citizens.
“Our cherry system is on the ropes.
“Let me be clear: I am an advocate for capitalism, but this is anything but capitalism. This is abuse of the system and is certainly not fair competition – a foreign nation is using unfair trading practices to threaten our economy. This is unacceptable.
“As we move forward, I want Michigan cherry farmers to know I am not handling this issue lightly.
“I am fighting for Michigan’s cherry industry and look forward to speaking with industry leaders about the next steps we can take.”