November 26, 2019

Boston Globe: Massachusetts lawmakers seek federal help for cranberry farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs

Massachusetts lawmakers are asking the Trump administration to help cranberry farmers in the state and nationwide as they face major losses this year due to Chinese tariffs.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, along with Representatives Joseph P. Kennedy III and William Keating, who represent the state’s main cranberry growing areas, wrote on Thursday to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, imploring him to “explore new markets” and “work creatively to help relieve the economic pressure faced by producers.” The letter comes as cranberry sauce takes its annual star-turn as a staple of Thanksgiving dinners this week.

“We urge you to provide solutions and resources to reduce the loss to the industry as soon as possible,” the lawmakers wrote.
The Trump administration’s trade dispute with China has taken a toll on the already struggling American cranberry industry, with China slapping a 40 percent tariff on US cranberries. The US Agriculture Department recently estimated the industry’s losses at about $42.8 million this year because of the tariffs. The tariff hit comes amid a downward trend for cranberry prices, which have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past decade due to overproduction, the lawmaker wrote.
Read the full story on the Boston Globe here.

By:  Ryan Wangman
Source: Boston Globe