Peters Applauds ITC Decision to Continue Investigating Unfair Trade Practices Harming Michigan Cherry Growers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today welcomed a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decision to continue investigations into the dumping of Turkish dried tart cherries that has hurt Michigan cherry growers. In April, the Dried Tart Cherry Coalition filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions with the ITC and Department of Commerce. 

“I’ve met with Michigan cherry growers that have been unfairly disadvantaged by Turkish cherry dumping into the market. This unanimous decision is an important step towards holding bad actors accountable and leveling the playing field,” said Senator Peters. “While I’m encouraged by this progress, our growers simply cannot afford to wait. I will continue pushing to pass my bipartisan legislation that will strengthen the Commerce Department’s ability to self-initiate investigations into unfair trade practices – especially those that impact smaller industries. Cherry growers that are already facing a tighter budget because of these unfair trade practices should not be forced to spend millions to bring a case forward.”

The ITC voted unanimously to proceed with antidumping and countervailing duty investigations regarding Turkish dried tart cherries. According to the ITC, a preliminary countervailing duty decision will be made in July, and a preliminary antidumping duty decision will be made this fall. Peters previously welcomed the Dried Tart Cherry Coalition’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions being filed earlier this year.

Currently, manufacturers and agricultural producers face unfair foreign competition from others that use practices including dumping and subsidies on imported goods. Dumping is an unfair trade practice where foreign competitors intentionally lower the price of their goods to make it harder for American companies that produce raw materials, manufactured goods and agricultural products to compete.

In February, Peters reintroduced the Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act. His bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) would establish a task force within the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate potential trade abuses throughout the international marketplace and better ensure it has the tools and abilities to support American businesses looking to expand both here at home and around the globe. Peters spoke on the Senate floorurging his colleagues to pass his legislation.

While the Commerce Department holds the right to self-initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, the power is rarely exercised. Peters’ bipartisan legislation is modeled after a recommendation within the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC) 2016 report to Congress, and would help reduce the negative effects on targeted businesses.

The Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act would create a team solely focused on studying trade data and subsequently listing potential disturbing trade patterns for formal investigation, with an emphasis on cases impacting small and medium-sized businesses.

Peters discussed the issue of cherry dumping directly with President Trump, who called Peters’ legislation “a fantastic idea.”

In April, Peters toured Shoreline Fruit’s facilities in Williamsburg and highlighted his Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act and efforts to target unfair trade practices by foreign competitors that undercut Michigan businesses and agricultural producers.