With the United States in a trade war with China, and others potentially coming down the road, what does this mean for American producers. Vince Peterson, President of U.S. Wheat Associates said growers were feeling the pinch well before tariffs on American products were enacted.
“The fact of the matter is, we have not sold one kernel of wheat to China since March of this year when all of this started. We’ve been averaging about one million tons a year of U.S. primarily hard red spring and soft white wheat, some sales of soft red and some hard red, but primarily the other two classes, and we have zero on the books right now. Zero new sales for new crop.”
In addition, Peterson said there is no prospects of selling wheat to China in the foreseeable future, adding buyers are not willing to step out on a limb to purchase American wheat. Many in the Trump Administration claim this stance will lead to better trade deals for American workers. Petersons said the question to ask, what will this collateral damage eventually lead to?
“Meanwhile, we’re sort of picking winners and losers in our industry, in other words, to the favor, of manufacturing and automobiles, and the steal industry. Good for them, but agriculture is on the other end of that stick, we’re kind of the infantry on the front lines taking all the bullets, and they keep talking about some sort of help for agriculture, and frankly I don’t see that generating very much interest right now.”
While China has been most of the focus on the national scene, Peterson says being out of Mexico will hurt the wheat industry considerably. He says Mexico and Japan are routinely the top export destinations for U.S. wheat.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org