International Trade

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Michigan cherry farmers were in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to make their final case for U.S. imposed tariffs on Turkish cherry products.

Tart cherry farmers in Michigan are suffering the fallout of an international trade war. While farmers wait to see where those political cards fall, many in northern Michigan are bearing down for the winter. 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

In the midst of tension between the U.S. and global trade partners like Turkey, northern Michigan’s iconic cherry industry is stuck in the middle.

Tart cherry farmers have been undercut by foreign competitors for years. Many farmers thought tariffs implemented by the Trump administration would help, but they haven’t.

Airbus

The Trump Administration announced they will put $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on goods flown into the U.S. on flights from Airbus. That will include several tart cherry products from Austria, Germany and Hungary. 

Peter Payette

The U.S. International Trade Commission will levy tariffs against Turkish tart cherry exporters, according to a press release obtained by IPR.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce announced Friday that they will investigate cherries imported from Turkey.

Tart cherries are the largest crop in northwestern lower Michigan, and growers here say they can't compete with Turkey. Some Turkish tart cherry products sell for half the price of domestic ones.

Ben LaCross, a grower in Leelanau County, says to break even he needs to make around 25 cents per pound for his tart cherries.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

U.S. cherry farmers filed a legal case against the country of Turkey on Tuesday. They say Turkey subsidizes their cherries so much that they can sell some products for half the price of domestic ones.

Peter Payette

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy $15 million of tart cherries from domestic farmers, according to Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet.)

George Sundin / Michigan State University

This week on Points North, a bacteria called cherry canker is attacking sweet cherry trees nationwide, but one Michigan scientist is developing a solution. Plus, how a new bill could help tart cherry farmers compete with cheap Turkish cherry imports.


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

For the past decade, Americans have been buying tart cherries from Turkey for cheap. Tart cherry farmers in Michigan say that’s hurting their bottom line. Now they’re hoping a new bill in Washington will balance the scales.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might be in for a shakeup – and Michigan could feel the effects.

President Donald Trump has been negotiating with the US’s neighbors to the north and south. Mexico, the US and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new trade deal for about a year.  While Mexico seems to be on board with small changes – the bigger impact on Michigan has to do with Canada.

China is America's biggest soybean customer, to the tune of $14 billion last year. 

Michigan is a major soybean producer, which means farmers in the state are on the front line of this brewing trade war.

Once it's built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge from Windsor to Detroit will be one of Michigan's most important tools for international trade.

 

It's projected that truck traffic will double from the current 10,000 to some 20,000 trucks each day rumbling through the southwest Detroit neighborhood of Delray.

 

So what's good for Michigan trade – not to mention America's and Canada's trade – is going to be felt deeply by the folks living there.

Michigan’s congressional delegation is divided on a major trade deal before the House this week.

Supporters say the "Trans Pacific Partnership" will boost jobs by expanding exports.

On paper, it's a pretty good idea: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

It would attract investment money, backers said. It would create 64,000 new jobs for Southeast Michigan.