By Jeff Colombini and Mike Wade, San Francisco Chronicle
The United States exports one out of every three apples it grows. California, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan together produce 90 percent of the apples grown in America. Although we apple growers come from various places, we share one common concern: going out of business.
While having to close the farm gates for good is always in the back of growers’ minds, as profit margins are razor thin and our livelihoods depend on the grace of Mother Nature, it has never been more of a reality than now due to the retaliatory tariffs being imposed on apple exports by Mexico, India and China.
Thousands of jobs in rural America are at risk, not just in growing and picking the crop but also in equipment, fuel and fertilizer sales, and in packing and transportation.
Saying that trade is critical to the apple industry is an understatement.