NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates, the industry’s overseas market development organization, work together to fashion trade policy priorities for the industry. Most of this work is done through a joint policy committee, which includes representatives from both organizations and makes recommendations to both boards for approval.

On a day-to-day basis, NAWG takes the lead on legislative lobbying activities while U.S. Wheat primarily interfaces with administrative agencie

Doha Round

The Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations began in 2001 with the intention of lowering trade barriers and spurring development in the less-industrialized world. Since then, these discussions have frequently stalled, and official negotiations have been on hold since the summer of 2008. Nevertheless, the U.S. wheat industry is hopeful for a successful and balanced conclusion to the Doha Round.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

NAWG and the U.S. Wheat Associates support a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that provides improved market access and includes ambitious language on modern trade issues. NAWG continues to support ratification of the agreement. Many of the 12 countries have already ratified the agreement through their own country’s government process.

More about the TPP negotiations from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

MAP/FMD

The U.S. wheat industry strongly supports full funding of $200 million per year for the Market Access Program (MAP) and of $34.5 million per year for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. These programs share the costs of overseas market development efforts undertaken by U.S. non-profit agricultural trade organizations, including U.S. Wheat Associates.

There is strong evidence that these programs are excellent investments for the U.S. taxpayer and grower. A 2016 econometric study showed that the investment from producer dollars combined with MAP and FMD have accounted for $309 billion, or a full 15%, of agricultural export revenue between 1977 and 2014. The same study showed that between 2002 and 2014, the investment added $27.3 billion in farm income, $220 billion in overall U.S. GDP and created 239,000 full and part-time jobs. Click here for more information.

Cuba

It is estimated that the Cuban embargo costs the U.S. wheat industry upwards of $40 million in lost sales each year. The wheat industry strongly supports policy changes through regulations or legislation that would allow producers to tap into this market and help feed the Cuban people.

Free Trade Agreements

The U.S. wheat industry strongly supported approval of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The agreements were stalled for up to five years until they were approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in October 2011.

The extensive delay in Congressional consideration of the agreements hurt wheat exports significantly, especially to Colombia. As recently as 2007/2008, 70 percent of Colombia’s total annual wheat imports came from U.S. farmers. Since that time, U.S. sales have fallen to a low of 46 percent of total imports, in large part because of trade preferences other countries including Argentina and Canada have established.