October 8, 2020
Washington, DC—Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) joined members of Congress from both parties in urging Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to provide additional USDA support for California’s walnut growers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and olive growers impacted by the ongoing trade dispute with the European Union.
These letters follow Congressman Garamendi’s advocacy for California’s almond growers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this month.
“California’s walnut and olive growers are facing significant hardship in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing trade disputes,” Garamendi said. “The federal government must take action to help them weather this storm and support California’s farmers. I’m continuing my work in Congress to pass additional federal relief for our hardest-hit growers.”
“California’s olive growers are forced to compete with unfairly subsidized European competitors, which have circumvented our nation’s trade rules and undermined domestic growers. I joined a bipartisan group of my California Congressional colleagues to direct relief to California’s olive growers and push back against the unfair practices of their European competitors” Garamendi continued.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and retaliatory tariffs by India, Turkey, and China have wreaked havoc on California’s walnut growers. Retaliatory tariffs have turned California’s walnut industry from a $1.5 billion to an $878.8 million industry—a stunning decline of 41 percent—in just two years. The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a second blow to walnut growers, jeopardizing 85,000 American jobs in the industry. Additionally, 98 percent of food banks have reported an increase in need for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m urging the federal government to purchase California-grown walnuts to help feed needy Americans and support our farmers during this difficult time. I will always work to support our farmers and combat hunger through my work in Congress,” Garamendi concluded.