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Washington Apple Growers Fret Over Possible Chinese Tariffs

File Photo
Washington Apple Commission

With China threatening to slap the United States with tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. made products,  one group that is worried is Washington state’s apple farmers.

The state’s growers export a third of their crop to more than 60 countries around the world, and China has been one of their biggest customers. According to statistics gathered by the Washington Apple Commission, China was the sixth largest international apple market for the state between 2013-2016.

According to Todd Fryhover, the commission’s president, many growers support President Donald Trump -- but they are worried about the prospect of China imposing tariffs in response to U.S. trade pressure. 

“You know we’re always in support of our government, no matter who’s in power. And obviously, free trade is something that we all push and look forward to. But we’re gonna be cautious and wait, remain supportive of the president and his administration and see what happens,” he said.

Fryhover said apple growers are also concerned about changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is by far the largest international market for Washington apples, according to the commission.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story wrongly stated the dollar amount of proposed Chinese tariffs. China has threatened to impose tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. made products. We regret the error. 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.