California : KEM
Unlike millions of other U.S. farmers, garlic growers are profiting from the trade war with China and have cheered President Donald Trump’s latest economic attack accordingly.
Sales of California-grown garlic are now increasing after decades of losing ground to cheaper Chinese imports. Sales are poised to get even better as Chinese garlic faces even higher tariffs, with no end to the trade war in sight.
“In a perfect world, we’d love to see the tariffs stay on forever,” said Ken Christopher, executive vice president of family owned Christopher Ranch, the largest of three remaining commercial garlic producers in the United States.
While many farmers are suffering through the trade war because they relied heavily on imports to China, U.S. garlic growers benefit because they rely overwhelmingly on domestic sales.
Tariffs on Chinese garlic increased from 10 to 25 percent on May 9, when the U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and dashed hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could come soon.
While soybean farmers in the U.S. Midwest watched silos fill with unsold crops as top buyer China all but stopped purchases, Christopher Ranch saw domestic garlic sales rise 15 percent in the last quarter of 2018 after the U.S. applied a 10 percent tariff on imports of Chinese garlic in September.