Washington wheat organizations urge Trump administration not to withdraw from KORUS

The Washington Grain Commission (WGC) and Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) stand with others in the agricultural industry in urging the Trump Administration not to withdraw from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)

“Our wheat is known throughout the world as being of the highest quality, a brand that allows us to compete in a marketplace with increasing emphasis on price,” said Mike Miller, a farmer from Ritzville, Wash., and Chairman of WGC. “Agriculture has prospered from a 60-year partnership that was only strengthened by KORUS. A sudden reversal on that agreement shifts the emphasis away from quality and toward price allowing Canada, Australia and even Russia to gain a stronger foothold in that market.”

“Washington wheat farmers encourage the Administration to continue the dialogue between U.S. and Korean governments,” said Ben Adams, a farmer from Coulee City, Wash., and President of WAWG. “Our industry reminds lawmakers that agriculture contributes positively to the trade balance and cancelling this agreement with our important trade ally is harmful to our exports.”

Currently, Korea is the sixth largest buyer of U.S. wheat with 1.42 million metric tons being imported in the 2016/17 marketing year (June to May). For White wheat, the predominate class grown in Washington, Korea ranks third in total imports, with purchases totaling 767 million metric tons last marketing year.

The WGC is a self-governing agency of the State of Washington that uses assessments on each bushel of wheat and barley sold to enhance the profitability of our growers.

Education and outreach are the heart of WAWG activity, all of which is aimed at helping Washington wheat families. Since 1954, WAWG has been dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry as a nonprofit trade association, which depends on volunteers, membership dues and donations to carry out activities as representatives on the state and national levels. WAWG monitors state, transportation, research and natural resources policy and partners with the National Association of Wheat Growers to monitor national farm policy.

For more information contact:

Glen Squires, CEO, Washington Grain Commission – (509) 456-2481, gsquires@wagrains.org

Michelle Hennings, Executive Director, Washington Association of Wheat Growers – (509) 659-0610, michelle@wawg.org