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.