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Michigan apple growers say Chinese tariffs won’t have major impact

Karen Thornton

Michigan apple growers say tariffs imposed Monday on US Apple exports to China are unlikely to have an impact on the state market, at least in the near future.

The Chinese Finance Ministry put a 15 percent tariff on apples, other fruits, and nuts and a 25 percent tariff on pork and aluminum in retaliation to the US tariffs on aluminum and steel.

Diane Smith is with the Michigan Apple Committee. She said the state has not exported apples to China for several years.

“It hasn’t been a big export market for Michigan apples. We do have a good export program but that country, in particular, hasn’t been one where we have exported a lot of apples.”

Smith said the tariffs will not directly impact Michigan but could have indirect effects.

“Washington state is the number one producer of apples in the United States and if they don’t have a place for those apples that they would normally ship there due to these tariffs we would see those apples on the domestic market which could create an issue for Michigan apple growers.”

Smith said Michigan exports to Central America, India, and Southeast Asia.