All Press Releases for April 05, 2018

Chinese Tariffs Hit WA Wheat Growers and Voters

Threaten U.S. Agriculture



"I don't think those people really understand how precarious things are in farm country," says Marci Green, president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

    RITZVILLE, WA, April 05, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Pacific Northwest farmers are bracing for serious losses in the Chinese market after the country announced its intentions to impose a 25 percent tariff on all U.S. wheat in reaction to tariffs imposed by President Trump on Chinese goods.

More than 12.5 million bushels of the region's flagship soft white wheat class, have been shipped to China during the 2017/2018 marketing year so far, a flow that is expected to be severely curtailed when the tariff goes into effect. The Chinese targeted other agricultural commodities as well including soybeans, corn, cotton, sorghum and beef.

Wheat and corn prices faced immediate single digit price declines in reaction to the news, but soybean markets saw a 40 cent per bushel drop. About a third of all soybeans grown in the U.S. are exported to China.

"It appears the Chinese are attempting to get the attention of the Trump administration by harming many of the people who voted for the president in the first place," said Gary Bailey, chairman of the Washington Grain Commission. "If my own reaction is any indication, it's a strategy that's working."

China has recently been ramping up its imports of soft white wheat and other U.S.-produced wheat classes as the country's millers and bakers emphasize quality. Frequently U.S. imports are blended with China's domestic crop to improve its flour and end use products. Over the last decade, U.S. wheat exports to China have varied between 6.4 million bushels to 61 million bushels, but exports bumped up to 154 million bushels in 2013/2014.

Marci Green, president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, said the tariff represents another challenge facing Eastern Washington farmers during a period of low prices and agronomic difficulties.

"I've read that Trump trade officials suggest that parts of the economy hurt by the Chinese tariffs are going to have to weather the storm for the greater good. I don't think those people really understand how precarious things are in farm country. This is not about weathering the storm, this is about survival," she said.

For more information contact: Michelle Hennings, Executive Director, Washington Association of Wheat Growers – (509) 659-0610, michelle@wawg.org
Glen Squires, CEO, Washington Grain Commission – (509) 456-2481, gsquires@wagrains.org

About WAWG: Education and outreach are the heart of Washington Association of Wheat Growers 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. Visit wawg.org for more information. For more information on this or other related issues, please contact Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers at, 509-659-0610, michelle@wawg.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Washington-Association-of-Wheat-Growers-194847140538562 Twitter: @WAWheatGrowers

About WGC: The Washington Grain Commission (WGC), was created through state legislation by merging the Washington Wheat Commission (WWC) and the Washington Barley Commission (WBC). The WGC is a self-governing agency of the State of Washington. The WGC enhances the profitability of Washington wheat and barley growers and meets ever-increasing market demands by: strengthening existing markets and developing new markets for PNW small grains, encouraging and supporting research to optimize grower, buyer and end user benefits and promoting and providing education. Visit wagrains.org for more information. For more information on this or other related issues, please contact Glen Squires, CEO, WGC, at 509-456-2481. https://www.facebook.com/washingtongrain/

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Michelle Hennings
WAWG
Ritzville, WA
Untied States
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