B.C.’s Fraser Valley is a major source of Canada’s blueberry exports. (Maple Ridge News)

B.C.’s Fraser Valley is a major source of Canada’s blueberry exports. (Maple Ridge News)

U.S. blueberry trade action could affect 800 B.C. growers

Province joins federal response to investigation

B.C. is joining Ottawa’s legal defence effort to respond to an investigation into Canada’s blueberry exports by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The U.S. agency’s records show little detail about the investigation, other than a start date of September and a decision date of March 29, 2021. It is listed under “import injury investigations” under the title “fresh, chilled or frozen blueberries.”

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham and Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon issued their first statement on the matter Dec. 30, announcing the province is contributing to economic research for the federal government’s legal strategy.

“The majority of Canada’s exports of fresh blueberries to the U.S. originate in British Columbia,” they said. “Our province’s approximately 800 blueberry growers are facing a U.S. trade investigation that could impact their livelihoods.

“The U.S. ITC could recommend tariffs or quotas if it finds U.S. blueberry growers are injured or are threatened to be injured by imports. In the meantime, B.C. growers face mounting legal fees and economic uncertainty. This impacts many of the hard-working people who rely on agriculture to provide for their families.”

RELATED: Lumber duties reduced, still ‘unfair,’ Ottawa says

RELATED: Trump refuses to appoint members to WTO panel


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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