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Wednesday - April 4, 2018 2:52 am

Cranberry growers among those waiting on final form of China ag tariffs

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It's still wait and see for Wisconsin cranberry growers on what Chinese tariffs will mean for them.

Cranberries are on a list of 128 products that face retaliatory tariffs from China.

The issue comes while the industry is trying to increase demand for cranberries in China and other eastern countries, says Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association.

“For us it's a bit disappointing that, amid positive growth and an outlook in that market, we're caught in an impending trade dispute that could negatively impact our growers,” Lochner said.

Wisconsin produces more than half of the world's cranberries. The fruit faces 15 percent tariffs from China.

It’s part of the response to the $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods recently announced by President Donald Trump.

“We're concerned about that and we're keeping a close eye on it,” Lochner said. “Right now, we haven't seen anything in a final form, so it's a little bit of speculation. But we're tracking the issue and hoping that something can be resolved to allow us to grow in the China market.

For now, cranberries, along with 128 products in all face retaliatory 15-percent tariffs — everything from pistachios to stainless steel drill pipe.

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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