LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Bean Shippers (MBS) and the Michigan Bean Commission today voiced deep concerns over new tariffs on U.S. dry beans by the European Union (EU). The EU recently levied a 25 percent tariff on all U.S. dry bean imports. The tariffs will have direct negative impacts on Michigan bean sellers and growers, which represents an important segment of Michigan’s agricultural economy.
“These tariffs place dry bean farmers and sellers in Michigan and across the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage and will create major disruptions in the U.S. dry bean market,” said Jim Byrum, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “The escalating trade conflict spurred by U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum is having an increasingly localized impact on Michigan agriculture. These tariffs will also impact many long-standing relationships between Michigan sellers and growers with EU customers.”
“Following the announcement of the dry bean tariff, scheduled shipments of dry beans to customers in Italy and the United Kingdom have already been disrupted, and this isn’t just a short term problem,” said Byrum. “Customers are already talking about their need to manage risk and spread their purchases to more regions of the world to avoid problems such as this. We will be dealing with the fallout from this situation for years.”
“The natural reaction to these tariffs from our current EU customers will be to take their business elsewhere, and that will have a significant impact on Michigan farmers, bean sellers and our agricultural economy,” said Joe Cramer, Executive Director of the Michigan Bean Commission. “Just as we were starting to see some stability in the Ag economy, these tariffs and trade uncertainty will turn back this economic progress for Michigan’s dry bean and other Ag sectors.”