Chinese tariffs deteriorate Washington state fruit, wine export. As China is the top export market for Washington cherries. On Monday, China levied tariffs on more than 120 U.S. products. The tariffs on fruit and wine are very critical to Washington State commodities.
“Everybody getting pretty nervous about it; I’m also very nervous about this tariff,” said Keith Hu, the Northwest Cherry Growers Association. Last year, the country bought 33,000 tons of premium cherries, worth about $140 million, according to Hu.
There import rate of U.S. cherries sent to China is reducing. Hence many other growers in the Evergreen State worried about their exports to China will be hurt by a trade war. Our local wines will also feel the squeeze.
Last year, Washington state exported $1.2 million worth of wine to China. “The Washington state wine industry is very concerned about it,” said Josh McDonald, the executived Director of Washington Wine Institute.
“These combined tariffs and other trade issues will definitely create a challenge for us and likely create a loss market share.”
“Washington makes world-class wines. The wines of Washington are some of the best wine in the world. Hence we need to get it across the globe. And we need to do it in the most competitive way possible. These types of tariffs make it much more difficult.”
Industry experts say it’s difficult to tell what will be the financial impact because of the tariffs. The Northwest Horticultural Council hopes the trade dispute will be resolved before the cherry harvest begins in June.