Washington legislators seek end to frozen blueberry tariff
U.S. Reps. Rich Larsen and Suzan DelBene, Democrats from Washington, are asking U.S. trade officials to work on eliminating tariffs on frozen blueberries exported to Japan.
In letters to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, Larsen and DelBene, who serve Washington State’s Second and First districts, respectively, ask the trade officials to pursue elimination of the tariffs on the frozen berries.
“We urge you to pursue an amendment to the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement to ensure U.S. frozen blueberries receive the same market access in Japan as fresh or dried blueberries, as well as other frozen berries, all of which can enter Japan without a tariff,” according to the letters. “Doing so will allow U.S. farmers to compete on level terms with other blueberry exporting countries and would help save and revitalize market opportunities for U.S. berry farmers.”
The 2019 U.S.-Japan Phase One trade deal eliminated tariffs on fresh and dried blueberries, but frozen berries shipped from the U.S. to Japan have tariffs of 6% or 9.6%, depending on sugar content.
In August 2021, Tai met the two legislators, along with local farmers and other producers, to discuss the importance of Asian market access to U.S. jobs.