New U.S. Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Could Negatively Impact Cape Cranberry Export Rates

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CAPE COD-  A recent decision by President Donald Trump to impose steep tariffs such as 10% on aluminum and 25% on steel imports could start a possible trade war that could have a major impact on growers of Massachusetts’s largest cash crop.

In response to the Trump Administration’s move the European Union is considering a 25% tariff on cranberry exports from the U.S.

The EU is the top consumer of cranberry exports from Massachusetts, which is responsible for 15 percent of the world’s cranberries. About 1 million barrels of cranberries, which are 100 pounds each, are exported from North America to the continent each year.

“If these tariffs go into place cranberry products would be charged more money, and export is one of our growing, and very important aspects of our industry. So that’s the concern is what’s going to be the financial impact to that. It already is expensive to export, and develop new markets,” says Brian Wick, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association.

Another concern with tariffs placed on U.S. cranberry exports is losing overseas business to Canada. Over the last few years Quebec has surpassed Massachusetts as the second largest producer of the fruit, behind Wisconsin.

“Massachusetts cranberries all come from South Eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, the Islands, and Nantucket. So it’s a very important part of our economy and environment… About nearly 7,000 jobs rely on this industry both directly and in-directly,” says Wick.

Other countries such as France are beginning to get vocal about this charge. French President Emmanuel Macron says that he told President Trump that the new U.S. tariffs on goods is a “mistake.”


BY: JOHN BONDAREK- Cape Cod.Com News Center

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