JOINT PRESS RELEASE: Wheat Leaders Pleased to See Sec. 232 Tariffs Removed, Call on Congress to Approve USMCA
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2019
Caitlin Eanello, Director of Communications, National Association of Wheat Growers
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Steve Mercer, Vice President of Communications, U.S. Wheat Associates
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Washington, D.C. – The announcement today that Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada will be removed is an important step toward approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade (USMCA), say farmer leaders of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG).
“We thank the Administration for recognizing that these tariffs are hindering trade agendas that open overseas markets,” said USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont. “We also encourage repealing all the remaining steel and aluminum tariffs and oppose new tariffs on autos under Section 232. New tariffs would encourage our trading partners to retaliate against U.S. farmers and agricultural exports and further weaken international trade rules.”
The USMCA agreement includes important provisions for wheat farmers. USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for our long-time flour milling customers in Mexico, a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in U.S. wheat as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market. In addition, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the border with Canada. The updated USMCA agreement would enable U.S. varieties registered in Canada to be afforded reciprocal treatment. While there are remaining challenges, we applaud the Administration for negotiating this critical provision in the USMCA and taking a big step towards reciprocal trade along the U.S.-Canadian border.
“Leaders in Congress made it clear that the USMCA agreement would never be approved unless the tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum were removed,” said NAWG President Ben Scholz, a wheat farmer from Lavon, Tex. “We want to remind members of Congress that the farmers in their states and districts expect support for this agreement. We are certain USMCA will bring jobs and economic prosperity to rural America and across the United States.”
About U.S. Wheat Associates
USW’s mission is 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 the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at state and national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members and the public.
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