New Trade Deal Won't Bring Direct Benefits To Washington Wheat Farmers

Jan 29, 2020

The head of the Washington Grain Commission says the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement is a good thing. But he says it won’t necessarily bring direct benefits to Washington wheat farmers.

Washington Grain Commission CEO Glen Squires says Mexico is the largest market for U.S. wheat. But not much Washington wheat makes the trip south. Nor is much of it shipped north to Canada.

Most of it, he says, is sent to Asia. And because of that, he says, new trade agreements with Japan and China are more important to the bottom line for Washington farmers. He says the U.S. has been able to overcome Chinese concerns about diseases in American wheat and now the market door is somewhat open.

Squires says that’s not to say the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement won’t bring some help. He says it helps to level the competitive situation for wheat farmers and he says it sends a strong message that trade is important.