Cartons of wild blueberries are for sale at a roadside stand in Woolwich, Maine, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

B.C.'s blueberry industry is preparing for a battle as officials in the United States consider adding foreign-grown fruits and vegetables to the list of items eligible for tariffs.

The B.C. Blueberry Council says it has hired a lawyer in response to a U.S. International Trade Commission probe examining if American farmers are being hurt by increased blueberry imports.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer -- who has led the Trump administration's complaints about Canada's dairy, steel and aluminum industries -- asked the trade commission last week about a blueberry investigation.

A spokeswoman for B.C. producers says she's hopeful the close relationship between the Canadian and U.S. blueberry industries will avert conflict -- and senators from Maine have already written to Lighthizer, urging Canadian exemptions if tariffs are imposed.