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Following almost two years without a Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are very glad that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Doug McKalip to fill the position.

“Mr. McKalip’s work in conservation, with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and recent negotiations with the Mexican government on biotech issues match up perfectly with some of the most important agricultural trade barriers,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “He is well prepared for this position, and we look forward to working with him to open and grow overseas markets for U.S. wheat,”

“Congratulations to Doug McKalip for filling this critical role,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I know Doug very well from his decades of public service at the USDA, and he will be an absolute asset to USTR, wheat growers and the ag community. With half the wheat grown in the United States destined for foreign markets, it is essential we have these key trade roles filled and we look forward to having Doug advocate for U.S. wheat farmers.”

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The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcome the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Alexis Taylor to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. Earlier today, the Senate confirmed Taylor by a voice vote.

“NAWG applauds the confirmation of Alexis Taylor to this key role, and I personally congratulate her for this historic appointment,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “I have worked with Alexis for over 15 years, and I know the agriculture industry will benefit immensely from her expertise. She is a widely recognized leader on agriculture policy and has the domestic and international experience to help navigate U.S. agriculture through growing global changes and help expand markets for U.S. agricultural products. We appreciate the Senate’s bipartisan support of Alexis and look forward to working with her.”

“Global markets for food and agricultural products like milling wheat are growing, so finally having Ms. Taylor in this position will help re-establish the United States as a leading export market participant,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “After serving as Agriculture Director in Oregon she understands just how important it is to maintain a strong promotional effort in export markets. We look forward to working with her to build overseas markets for U.S. wheat.”

The Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs mission area plays a crucial role in developing and implementing USDA’s trade policy, oversees and facilitates foreign market access, and promotion opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The wheat industry looks forward to working with Alexis Taylor to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers and American agriculture.

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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 in more than 100 countries. Its activities 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.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers. NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. 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, Administration officials, and the public

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. wheat growers have a long history of recognizing the value of export market development by supporting the successful public-private partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). That is why U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome the introduction of the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act of 2022 in the U.S. Senate.

This legislation, introduced by Senators Tina Smith (MN), Angus King (ME), Joni Ernst (IA), and Charles Grassley (IA), would double funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, agricultural export market development programs administered by FAS.

Each year, wheat growers contribute a portion of their wheat sales which qualifies USW to apply for MAP and FMD program funds along with more than 60 other U.S. agricultural export promotion organizations. Unfortunately, inflation, sequestration and administrative costs have sapped the value of the program funds over many years.

“MAP funding has not been increased from $200 million since 2006 and FMD funding has not changed from $34.5 million since 2002, but our foreign competition in most global markets including wheat has grown,” said USW Chairperson Rhonda K. Larson, a wheat grower from East Grand Forks, N.D. “To manage that challenge over the years, USW has closed offices and reduced staff to protect wheat export demand in our top markets. With additional MAP and FMD funds, we could expand our promotion effort to more commercial markets.”

A USDA chart showing the market share by country of global wheat trade over 20 years through 2021

Competitive Squeeze. Over the past 14 years, competition in the global wheat trade has increased. This data from USDA shows dramatic growth in market share for Russia primarily but data from the “Rest of the World” indicates more new competitors and promotional efforts.

USW also uses MAP and FMD funding to enable greater use of U.S. wheat in food aid programs that have taken on increased significance with the disruption of global wheat trade by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Our food aid programs are the best suited for U.S. wheat to help support the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict and for on-going food insecurity,” said Nicole Berg, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Paterson, Wash. “Looking ahead to the 2023 Farm Bill legislation, our food aid programs must receive continued support and MAP and FMD programs dollars must be enhanced to support the effort to promote U.S. wheat and other agricultural products.”

A recent econometric study conducted by agricultural economists at IHS Market and Texas A&M University predicted that doubling funding for these programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in U.S. agricultural exports over the 2024 to 2029 time period. This would directly benefit farmers, livestock producers, dairy operators and small businesses as they work to maintain and expand their global presence. Read more at www.AgExportsCount.org.

The CREAATE legislation must now be considered by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) 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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the tentative agreement reached between the railroads and rail union representatives that averts a rail shutdown ahead of Friday’s deadline.

The agreement provides rail employees a 24 percent wage increase during the five-year period between 2020 and 2024, while also paying out an immediate $11,000 upon adoption. The labor unions have agreed that they will not strike while the agreed upon deal goes through the ratification process. NAWG and USW would encourage a swift ratification of the agreement.

“NAWG commends all parties involved in the negotiation process for reaching a tentative agreement that averts a rail shutdown,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “The pandemic forced the rail laborers into tough situations as essential workers, and we appreciate their willingness to come to an agreement. We also appreciate the railroads understanding the severity of the situation and taking steps to improve their services. Finally, we thank the administration for its critical role in mediating negotiations, encouraging agreement and understanding the critical nature of a well-functioning rail system to the agricultural economy and supply chain.”

“Our country’s reputation as the world’s most reliable wheat supplier depends heavily on functioning rail transportation and that won’t change in the future,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “So we welcome this tentative agreement and hope both sides continue to work together to serve shippers like the U.S. wheat industry.”

A railroad strike would have cost the overall economy over $2 billion per day and would have devastating consequences for the prices farmers receive and consumers pay. Wheat farmers are uniquely reliant on rail due to the large distances between production and consumption. Rail has moved over 1 billion bushels of wheat over the last five years, with one car containing enough wheat to make 250,000 loaves of bread.

NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) 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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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This is a Joint Statement by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conclusion that it has no further questions regarding the safety of drought tolerant HB4 wheat developed by Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp.

The finding by the FDA is not an approval for this or any other transgenic wheat to be planted for commercial sale in the United States. To date, the HB4 wheat has been approved for commercial production within a closed system in Argentina only. The trait has been approved for human consumption by regulators in Brazil in the form of flour, and in Australia, New Zealand and now in the United States. Bioceres recently announced it will seek approval to plant HB4 wheat in Australia, but it has not announced plans to commercialize the trait in the United States.

With global demand for wheat increasing every year the need to produce more wheat in sustainable ways is clear. Drought had already reduced world wheat supplies and pushed prices higher before the invasion of Ukraine cut off supplies from the world’s fifth largest wheat exporting nation. A trait such as drought tolerance in wheat could help wheat growers in increasingly arid regions be more productive and ease food security concerns. Bioceres says the HB4 drought-tolerance technology has been shown to increase wheat yields by an average of 20% in water-limited conditions.

The U.S. wheat industry recognizes the benefits and value that can be created through the prudent application of modern biotechnology. USW and NAWG are guided by jointly approved “Wheat Industry Principles for Biotechnology Commercialization,” which lay out specific steps expected from plant breeding companies if they wish to commercialize transgenic wheat in the United States.

In addition, USW and NAWG support the ability of domestic and overseas customers to make purchases based on their preferences for specific wheat traits, classes, qualities and characteristics.

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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, President Biden announced the nomination of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

“NAWG applauds President Biden nominating Doug McKalip to this critical role, and we encourage the Senate Finance Committee to work quickly in moving forward this nomination,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I know Doug very well from his decades of public service at the USDA, and he will be able to hit the ground running on day one. There are numerous challenges facing the United States when it comes to ag trade, but we are eager to see Doug’s nomination move quickly so he may begin important work at USTR to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers.”

“Trade is incredibly important to U.S. wheat producers, who export about half their production each year. That makes securing market access and the work of USTR critical,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “We welcome the nomination and look forward to him being confirmed and in place to advocate for agriculture at USTR.”

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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 in more than 100 countries. Its activities 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.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers

NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. 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, Administration officials, and the public.

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Arlington, Va. – Today, President Biden announced the nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. The Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs mission area plays a key role in developing and implementing USDA’s trade policy, oversees and facilitates foreign market access, and promotion opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the nomination of Alexis Taylor.

“Ms. Taylor has worked to open new markets for American agriculture in her previous position at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and as director of Oregon’s Department of Agriculture,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “Looking ahead to the next Farm Bill negotiations, we know she will be an experienced advocate who can help explain to policymakers how important export market development programs are to our country’s farmers and ranchers.”

“NAWG welcomes President Biden nominating Alexis Taylor to this key role and encourage the Senate Agriculture Committee to work diligently and expeditiously in considering this nomination, said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I have worked with Alexis for over fifteen years and know the industry appreciates her experience and understanding of the agriculture community and trade issues. We are eager to see this key leadership role be filled quickly and encourage timely Senate consideration so she may begin important work at the USDA to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers and be an advocate for American agriculture around the world.”

Alexis Taylor currently serves as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Director, where she oversees the state’s efforts on food safety and consumer protection, natural resource protection and the promotion of Oregon products. Prior to this, Taylor oversaw the USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, where she worked to improve market access and improve the competitiveness of U.S. agricultural products around the world. Before joining USDA, Alexis worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

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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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers. NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. 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, Administration officials, and the public.

 

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Washington, D.C.  – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the Biden Administration’s announcement today stating the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $670 million in food assistance to countries in need. Specifically, this announcement will utilize the $282 million in the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT) and USDA will provide an additional $388 million through the Commodity Credit Corporation to help cover the transportation costs.

The funding will be spent on purchasing domestic wheat and other commodities as part of a food aid package to help feed people in countries experiencing food insecurity. The funding will also be used to cover the costs of transporting the commodities to their destination.

“Today’s action is an important step in helping get assistance to countries facing food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule stated. “Ukraine is a significant wheat exporting country, and Russia’s aggression has caused considerable market and global supply chain disruptions. Unlocking the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust will play a crucial role in helping address the urgent humanitarian needs resulting from this conflict.”

“It is so sad to think of more people being pushed into food insecurity around the world, but that is happening,” said Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and chair of the USW and NAWG Food Aid Working Group. “Wheat has long been the most often donated commodity for food aid programs and wheat growers are ready again in this crisis to help ease the hunger.”

NAWG and USW will continue to work with USDA on ways the industry can support the food aid programs, while advocating for policies that benefit and enable U.S. farmers to continue growing wheat.

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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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers. NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. 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, Administration officials, and the public.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Today’s announcement that Vietnam’s government will eliminate a 3 percent U.S. wheat import tariff effective December 30, 2021, is welcome news to producers at home and their customers and wheat food processors in Vietnam.

As we reported in August 2021, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) appreciate the efforts by the Biden Administration, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance toward eliminating this tariff, which follows a reduction from 5 percent to 3 percent in July 2020.

Vietnam imported more than 500,000 metric tons of U.S. hard red spring, soft white, hard red winter, and soft red winter wheat valued at $129 million in marketing year 2020/21, second in volume only to Australia. Vietnam imports an average of about 4 million metric tons of wheat per year.

“U.S. wheat exports to Vietnam’s growing market are much slower so far this year because of short supplies and rising prices, so eliminating this tariff is very important for growers like me,” said Darren Padget, USW Chairman and a soft white wheat grower from Grass Valley, Ore.

“With about half of the wheat we produce available for export each year, we depend on increasing access to markets like Vietnam,” said Dave Milligan, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Cass City, Mich. “Here at home, NAWG will continue advocating for trade policies that work toward positive opportunities for wheat growers and their customers.”

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About USW

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) 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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About NAWG

NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome the announcement that the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States agreed to a five-year moratorium on retaliatory tariffs for large civil aircraft subsidies. This break suspends the retaliatory tariffs levied on non-durum U.S. wheat imports by the UK. The agreement is similar to one struck earlier this week between the United States and the European Union (EU). This long-running dispute at the World Trade Organization allowed the UK and EU the right to impose tariffs on non-durum U.S. wheat imports, which mainly impacted U.S. hard red spring and some hard red winter wheat.

“The wheat industry is thankful for President Biden and Ambassador Tai’s commitment to prioritize the trade relationships between the United States, European Union, and now the United Kingdom,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “The five-year truce announced on Tuesday with the EU and yesterday with the UK removes a significant trade barrier on wheat exports and provides long-term certainty for wheat growers in the upper Midwest.”

USW President Vince Peterson noted that this agreement provides the basis for an open dialogue on trade that hopefully will also pre-empt the use of retaliatory tariffs in the still unresolved steel and aluminum dispute between the United States and the UK.

About U.S. Wheat Associates
U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) 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. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

About the National Association of Wheat Growers
NAWG is the primary policy 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 the national level. NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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