Tariffs hit Oregon Hazelnuts

By Constantine Van Sickle

The United State’s biggest market of Oregon Hazelnuts might be in danger by new proposed tariffs by China.

Oregon produces 99% of all Hazelnut crops in the U.S and with the new applied tariffs, Oregon hazelnut farmers may have something to worry about. China proposed a new 15% tariff to all hazelnuts that are grown in the United States in response to Donald Trump’s tariff against steel and aluminum. There was already a 25% tariff on Hazelnuts and with the added 15%, that brings up the tariff to 40% on all Oregon Hazelnuts.

In an OPB interview, when asked why there is already a 25% tariff on Oregon Hazelnuts Terry Ross, executive director of the Hazelnut Growers Bargaining Association, said he was “not completely sure, you would always assume that they would have a domestic production that we would be interfering with and they were trying to protect,” he says.

Terry Ross continues to say that he couldn’t find anything that would cause the tariffs.     

 Dave Miller, a reporter for OPB says, “you would think that Oregon growers would be really upset about this, afterall Oregon is basically the entire U.S market for Hazelnuts and about 60% of that is exported, but growers here basically shrugged.”

Tarry Ross states that the tariffs are a “blessing in disguise”. With the new tarrifs, Oregon hazelnuts now have a spotlight to draw attention to their business and address the already huge tariff.  

With the amount of attention the Oregon Hazelnuts are getting, the Chinese Consulate has contacted Growers Bargaining Association. Terry Ross said that the Chinese Consulate were very helpful and brought their message to Beijing.

Whether or not the tariffs will change, Ross said, “With production increasing, we are going to look for new markets and if China is closed down, we are going to look elsewhere”

Oregon Hazelnut is a small business right now, but its growing fast, Tarry Ross explains, “ If you drive through the Willamette Valley, you can’t go through without  seeing hazelnut orchards being planted”

The Oregon Hazelnut industry has a promising future despite the tariffs, and will continue to grow across the world.