WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – As we start to wrap up the 2018 growing season, how is the Washington Ag Economy? Washington state Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison said things could be much better for the Washington Ag Community, thanks primarily to the unease from trade disruptions.
“As of July 6th, we’ve seen some significant downturns in our ability or preempt ability to export tree fruit products particularly to China.”
Sandison said a recent study indicated the retaliatory tariffs have cost the cherry industry $86 million, with the apple and pear industries losing millions in potential contracts. The Administration said it plans to help farmers impacted by the trade problems with China through commodity purchases as well as an increase in Trade Promotion through programs like FMD and MAP.
Sandison said Trade Promotion is a great way to help Northwest farmers by potentially increasing the flow of American products overseas.
“So, obviously, it would not provide for new trade agreements, or free trade agreements, but perhaps give us an ability to impact some markets where we have existing barriers.”
Sandison added Northwest producers would also like to see certainty when it comes to NAFTA, and have an updated agreement finalized soon.
Picture: Farm-STOCK-18 Washington Ag Network