Ag Today, April 3, 2018

Valley fruit, nut farmers fear fallout from Chinese tariffs on agriculture products

BY TIM SHEEHAN, The Fresno Bee

April 02, 2018 03:49 PM

Updated April 02, 2018 03:49 PM

Central San Joaquin Valley farmers are hoping negotiations between the U.S. and China can head off the potential economic effects of new tariffs imposed by China on a wide range of agricultural products imported from California.

The import duties that took effect Monday are the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute between the Trump administration and the Chinese government. China said it was responding to a U.S. increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Some of Fresno County’s biggest-value crops , including almonds, grapes, pistachios and citrus, are among the commodities targeted by China’s tariffs. And while the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office says it doesn’t track crop exports to specific overseas markets, Fresno County Farm Bureau President/CEO Ryan Jacobsen said there are worries among his membership.

“There’s definitely concern in the industry because we’re looking at our No. 2 market for exports,” Jacobsen said Monday of China. “We don’t want to see anything that jeopardizes our ability to send our products over there.”

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