U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) strongly urge the Trump Administration not to withdraw from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
“We believe it would be irresponsible to unilaterally walk away from this or any other trade agreement,” said Mike Miller, USW chairman and a wheat grower from Ritzville, Wash. “Withdrawing raises the specter of retaliation against agricultural exports and creates unnecessary uncertainty in the market. Any disruption in the relationship wheat growers have built in Korea over more than 60 years gives Australia, Canada and even Russia an opening to move in and take business away from us at a time when we are all struggling to stay profitable. KORUS, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been very good for American agriculture.”
“We think this trade agreement, negotiated in good faith and strongly supported in Congress, reinforces the Administration’s stated goal to sell more agricultural products overseas,” said David Schemm, NAWG president and a wheat grower from Sharon Springs, Kan. “We support finding ways to improve any agreement, but let’s do that in a reasoned and respectful way, with input from all stakeholders so U.S. wheat farmers can gain greater access to world markets.”
Korea was the third largest volume importer of U.S. wheat in marketing year 2016/17 (June to May).
USW is the industry’s export market development organization with a mission 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.
NAWG is a federation of more than 20 state wheat grower associations that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, D.C, NAWG is grower-governed and grower-funded, and works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, agricultural research and sustainability. For more information, visit our website at www.wheatworld.org.