senate resolution no.71
Senators Schmidt and Daley offered the following resolution:
A resolution to support the U.S. cherry industry's petition before the U.S. International Trade Commission stating unfair trade practices against Turkey and to urge the Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to take action protecting U.S. cherry farmers.
Whereas, Michigan is the primary tart cherry producing state, growing 189 million pounds in 2017, or nearly 75% of the nation's crop. Tart cherry production in the United States totaled 259.5 million pounds in 2017, valued at $56.8 million; and
Whereas, Turkish imports have caused tart cherry prices to crash, significantly damaging Michigan's industry. The amount of dried cherries imported from Turkey have grown exponentially over the last three years, more than tripling from 2016 to 2018. Subsidized by the Turkish government, Turkish cherries sell for 89 cents per pound while the U.S. product sells for an average of $4.60 per pound; and
Whereas, On April 23, 2019, the Dried Tart Cherry Trade Committee filed petitions with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce, claiming that Turkey is flooding the U.S. market with dried tart cherries, lowering domestic product prices and causing material injury to tart cherry producers in Michigan and other cherry growing states; and
Whereas, In June, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a preliminary ruling that Turkish imports "had a significant adverse impact on the domestic industry." A final ruling is expected early next year. If Turkish imports are determined to be injurious to the U.S. market, the Department of Commerce will determine the duties to be imposed; and
Whereas, If the industry loses its case, few cherry growers will survive. Already trees are being destroyed as it costs more to harvest fruit than the current return on the product. Jobs will be lost both in seasonal workers in the field and the thousands of employees in processing plants who work year-round preparing cherries for market; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we support the U.S. cherry industry's petition before the U.S. International Trade Commission stating unfair trade practices against Turkey and urge the Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to take action protecting U.S. cherry farmers; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the U.S. International Trade Commission, the United States Secretary of Commerce, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.