Oregon Congressional Delegation Stands Up for Hazelnut Farmers

WASHINGTON, DC [08/15/18] – Congresswoman Bonamici, Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Representatives DeFazio, Blumenauer, and Schrader called on the Trump Administration to work with China to reduce or eliminate Chinese tariffs that are harming Oregon’s hazelnut farmers and making it difficult for them to compete with growers in other countries. The Members spoke out on behalf of Oregon hazelnut growers in a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“U.S. hazelnuts now face even higher Chinese tariffs imposed in retaliation to new U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports,” wrote the Members. “U.S. hazelnut farmers and producers find themselves at a disadvantage when competing with other producers that are subject to lower tariffs, or are not subject to tariffs at all.

“We urge you to engage with China to level the playing field for our Oregon farmers and therefore help their industry thrive. We encourage you to seek an elimination or substantial reduction of China’s burdensome tariffs on Oregon in-shell and shelled hazelnuts as part of any future dialogue with China on tariff barriers to U.S. agriculture exports. The reduction or elimination of these tariffs would make a meaningful difference to Oregon family farmers and U.S. producers.”

As a result of changes the Trump administration made to U.S. trade policy, China imposed an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. hazelnuts, bringing its applied tariff rate on U.S. in-shell and shelled hazelnuts to 65 percent and 50 percent, respectively. About 800 farm families in Oregon grow hazelnuts on 67,000 acres.