Americans love garlic. But growers in Gilroy say illegal Chinese imports, unpredictable weather and soaring land costs are threatening to squeeze the domestic garlic industry right out of business.
Chinese garlic is supposed to pay a 376 percent tariff before it enters the country. But the Fresh Garlic Producers Association complained last month to the U.S. Customs Department that Chinese garlic is slipping its way through ports in shipping containers from Thailand and Vietnam.
Association spokesman Jim Provost says the garlic in those containers is being sold, without tariffs, for about 30 percent below domestic prices.