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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

American farmers are livid with President Trump's tariffs. But not garlic growers. Reeling after a quarter-century-long war with Chinese garlic farmers, they are thrilled with a trade war that they say could finally give them the advantage on U.S. turf.

Why it matters: Chances are if you're cooking with garlic (or, less commonly, using it medicinally), it's from China, which has an iron grip on the U.S. market, controlling more than 90% of the dried garlic trade and killing many American garlic farms. U.S. farmers think Trump's new 10% tariff could bring them back to life.

There is a "garlic war that has crowded out U.S. farmers," says Eric Block, a University at Albany professor who has studied garlic for more than 30 years. Pricing pressure from cheaper Chinese garlic has caused a lot of of U.S. farms to scale back production, or shut down completely.

By the numbers: How the price difference ripples through the market can be seen in San Francisco, where the current price of a 30-pound carton of Chinese-grown white garlic is $38–$40, compared with $68 for U.S.-grown garlic, according to the USDA.

Ken Christopher, who runs Christopher Ranch, the largest U.S. garlic producer in Gilroy, California, says that even though the tariff will not equal out the prices, the penalty will make it less profitable for Chinese growers and "it will make an impact, when you're dealing in millions of pounds of garlic."

  • The U.S. is the world's largest garlic importer, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, accounting for 339 million pounds of garlic in 2017. It is also the world's largest consumer.
  • Cheaper labor, less regulation and overall lower production costs all allow Chinese growers to undercut most of its global garlic rivals. Pricing pressure from cheaper Chinese garlic has caused a lot of U.S. farms to scale back production, or shut down completely.
How they got here

U.S. troubles with Chinese garlic have a deep history. It's been a three-generation fight, says Christopher, the grower in Gilroy, which calls itself the "garlic capital of the U.S."

  • Christopher's grandfather, Don Christopher, was among domestic producers who in 1994 successfully lobbied the government to impose a 377% “antidumping and countervailing" duty on garlic imports.

But China got around those taxes, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which in 2016 found that China's growers were not paying the duties in full.

  • By the early 2000s, Christopher began selling Chinese-imported garlic, too.
  • "Wholesalers demanded the cheapest products," said Christopher.
  • Trump's tariffs will "change the entire game for garlic farmers," he says, because the tariff will be collected in advance, confounding the past "duty invasion schemes."

Not everyone is so confident.

  • Louis Hymel, a 50-year employee of Spice World, which packages garlic imported from China, Mexico and Argentina, said the tariffs won't change the way the company does business.
  • McCormick Spices said the tariffs will drive up the costs of their seasonings, CNN reported last month.

Go deeper

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

Who in Congress is talking about Ukraine the most

Data: Quorum; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Mentions of Ukraine or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in congressional statements and social media posts have been on the rise — with nearly 1,000 already this month, according to data from Quorum.

Why it matters: The growing threat of a Russian invasion has been mirrored by a growth in Ukraine-related chatter.