JOINT RELEASE: NAWG and USW Welcome Attention on Trade Policy Risks and Opportunities

For Immediate Release:  September 13, 2018 

Contact:  Caitlin Eannello, Director of Communications, National Association of Wheat Growers, (240) 423-4345, ceannello@wheatworld.org  

Steve Mercer, Vice President of Communications, U.S. Wheat Associates, (703) 650-0251, smercer@uswheat.org

  

NAWG and USW Welcome Attention on Trade Policy Risks and Opportunities

 

Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) appreciate the Senate Agriculture Committee holding a hearing on “Perspectives on U.S. Agricultural Trade” Sept. 13, 2018, focused on the Trump Administration’s trade agenda. The organizations are encouraged that Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow, as well as the members of the Administration who testified today, recognize the challenges farmers face in weathering today’s unique trade policy environment.  

“We commend the leadership for holding this hearing and we were glad to hear the Administration witnesses acknowledge there is legitimate anxiety in farm country about the impact of retaliatory tariffs on our products,” said Jimmie Musick, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Sentinel, Okla. “We see opportunity for our members from the strong resistance to China’s unfair trade policies. We also recognize the risk to farm income continues to grow the longer this confrontation with China continues and we call on the Administration to do all it can to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. Finally, we’re grateful to Ambassador Doud for making the grain grading disparity with Canada a top priority in NAFTA.” 

“In our successful partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, state wheat commissions and U.S. Wheat Associates have worked for many decades to develop markets in China, Mexico, Japan, Europe and dozens of other countries,” said Chris Kolstad, USW Chairman and a wheat grower from Ledger, Mont. “Wheat growers depend on export markets to support wheat prices and we want the Administration to succeed in breaking down trade barriers. We’re also glad that Ambassador Doud and Under Secretary McKinney both noted the importance of negotiating new agreements that work for our farm families and for our overseas customers.”  

NAWG and USW look forward to final approval of the renegotiated agreement with Mexico that maintains duty free access to its crucial wheat market. The organizations are also encouraging the Administration to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership or quickly negotiate a trade agreement with Japan that keeps U.S. wheat on equal footing with competing supplies from Canada and Australia.

 

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About NAWG
NAWG is the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 22 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at state and national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members and the public. 

About U.S. Wheat Associates
USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.