Provision Expands Disaster Aid to Cherries Hurt By Trade
Roll Call reports a provision moving through Congress as part of disaster-aid legislation would open the window for farmers earning more than $900,000 on average for the past three years to qualify for the $12 billion trade-mitigation package.
Roll Call says this provision was designed to give Washington sweet cherry growers a boost. An aid for Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) told the publication the income limit for subsidy programs apply before operating budgets and taxes and does not account for higher production costs for sweet cherries nor the upfront investment in orchard establishment.
“We’re being impacted, and the growers are being impacted regardless of how much acreage they have,” Mark Powers, President of the Northwest Horticultural Council, told Roll Call. “This is the only aid package that’s going to be available and give us some time to figure out a solution or solutions with China and other countries. It isn’t just cherries that will benefit.”