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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that a familiar face is returning to the organization, naming Dalton Henry as Vice President of Policy. Henry starts his position August 20, 2019, based in the USW Headquarters Office in Arlington, Va. Previously, Henry worked for USW in the same role from March 2015 to December 2016. USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization.

“We are happy to have Dalton return to a role he previously served well,” said Vince Peterson, USW President. “Trade policy continues to be a critical part of USW’s mission to develop, maintain and expand overseas markets. Dalton has a strong commitment to our industry and fully understands how important reducing international trade barriers is to our mission representing U.S. wheat farmers.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to rejoin the team at U.S. Wheat,” said Henry. “Trade policy has always been a critical piece of the puzzle for wheat producers, and I look forward to working on their behalf.”

A May 2010 graduate of Kansas State University, Henry earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism, with an emphasis in agricultural economics. He grew up on and is still involved with his family’s diversified crop and livestock operation near Randolph, Kan. In 2017, he was recognized with the K-State Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Henry joined Kansas Wheat in 2010 as Director of Government Affairs, where he handled implementing policies for the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and managed the association’s membership. Henry left USW in 2016 for the opportunity to work on policy affecting his home congressional district in Kansas and joined the office of U.S. Congressmen Roger Marshall as legislative director. Most recently, Henry co-founded Roots and Legacies Consulting, Inc., that offers services including strategic communication and marketing support, event and project management, association management and overall business operations consulting.

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 the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Dalton Henry
Dalton Henry.
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WHITEFISH, Montana — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at its annual meeting June 12, 2019, in Whitefish, Mont. USW is the export market development organization representing U.S. wheat farmers.

USW officers for 2019/20 are: Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio; Vice Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore.; Secretary-Treasurer Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn.; and Past Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the January 2019 board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

2019-2020 USW Officers (L to R) Darren Padget, Vice Chairman, Oregon; Doug Goyings, Chairman, Ohio; Chris Kolstad, Past Chairman, Montana; and Rhonda Larson, Secretary-Treasurer, Minnesota.

The board of directors also welcomed representatives of the Alberta Wheat Commission as special guests at their meeting. Geoff Backman, Business Development and Markets Manager, and Gary Stanford, Chairman and a wheat farmer from Lethbridge, Alberta, discussed the Canadian side of the current, shared trade issues. Casey Chumrau, USW Marketing Manager, Santiago, Chile, and a Montana native, updated the directors on new export opportunities in South America.  

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 37 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

2019 – 2020 USW Chairman Doug Goyings, Ohio

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the NAWG Research and Technology Committee and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

2019 – 2020 USW Vice Chairman Darren Padget, Oregon

Rhonda K. Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 50 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow hard red spring (HRS) wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

2019 – 2020 USW Secretary-Treasurer Rhonda Larson, Minnesota

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation. They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat, durum, barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has been a USW director since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. He is a regular blood donor and his community leadership includes past service on the local school board, in his family’s church and on the Montana Commission on Community Service.

2018 – 2019 USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, Montana (right), passes the gavel to incoming 2019 – 2020 USW Chairman Doug Goyings, Ohio (left). Kolstad will continue to serve the board over the next year as Past Chairman.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Nov. 3 to 8, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M.

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.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are aware that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the discovery of genetically engineered (GE) wheat plants growing in an unplanted agricultural field in Washington State. APHIS says the GE wheat in question is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.

We believe APHIS is well prepared to identify additional information about this discovery and has confirmed to us that:

  • there is no evidence suggesting that this wheat event, or any other GM wheat event has entered U.S. commercial supplies or entered the food supply;
  • there are no GE wheat varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time, as APHIS has not deregulated any GE wheat varieties;
  • there is no health risk associated with glyphosate resistance events in wheat based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluations.

We appreciate that USDA is collaborating with our organizations and our state, industry and trading partners to provide timely and transparent information about their findings as they investigate this discovery. We understand samples of the wheat plants from the field in Washington were sent to the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service lab in Kansas City, MO, as well as USDA Agricultural Research lab in Pullman, WA, for testing and confirmation.

We cannot speculate or comment about any potential market reactions until we learn more from APHIS and have a chance to discuss the situation in more detail with overseas customers. Based on what we know today from APHIS, we are confident that nothing has changed the U.S. wheat supply chain’s ability to deliver wheat that matches every customer’s specifications.

Read the statement from APHIS here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/2019/sa-6/ge-wheat.

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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are shocked and dismayed by President Donald Trump’s unilateral step to impose a five percent tariff on all Mexican goods imported by the United States. This action threatens to undermine approval of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement and puts crucial wheat demand in Mexico at great risk.

“We respectfully ask the Administration not to implement these new tariffs. The potential fallout for farmers would be like struggling to survive a flood then getting hit by a tornado,” said Chris Kolstad, Chairman of USW and a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont.

Bad feelings abounded in Mexico after the President publicly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA and imposed duties because certain Mexican products were called national security risks to the United States. Their government and industries, including flour millers, set out to broaden their supply sources. In 2018, Mexico increased its total wheat imports significantly, but U.S. wheat imports actually declined that year.

“With progress on the USMCA — most recently cancellation of the steel and aluminum tariffs — our customers in Mexico have been importing more U.S. wheat,” Kolstad said. “In a very disheartening coincidence, our organization is holding a conference next week with our Mexican customers partly to remind them how important they are to us. Of course, the cost of the conference is funded by the Agricultural Trade Promotion program that was awarded because U.S. wheat farmers proved they were being hurt by retaliatory tariffs.”

“We call on the President to rescind this threat immediately,” said Ben Scholz, President of NAWG and a wheat farmer from Lavon, Tex. “We’ve been hit by low prices; we’ve been hit by rain and flooding that is hurting what was an excellent wheat crop; and now we’ve been hit again by the actions of our own government. We need to end indiscriminate use of tariffs now, one way or another.”

About USW 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.

About NAWG
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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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) promotes Amanda Spoo to Director of Communications in its Arlington, Va., headquarters. Spoo will continue to direct USW’s online communications efforts while supporting public relations and marketing communications outreach to overseas wheat buyers and U.S. farmer stakeholders. USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization.

“Amanda continues to demonstrate a highly effective approach to her work with an increasing number of responsibilities,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “Under her direction, we are reaching a much wider audience of buyers and farmers through social media and online tools. Her leadership on a very successful revision of our website, www.uswheat.org, was a crucial part of that effort and we are pleased to recognize her contribution.”

Spoo was Director of Communications with the Kansas Pork Association before joining USW in 2015 as a Communications Specialist and was promoted to USW Assistant Director of Communications in 2017. She grew up in Hermiston, Ore., and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism at Kansas State University. She worked three years as a Student Communications Specialist at the IGP Institute and as a Communications Intern in Government Affairs with ICM, Inc., a Kansas biofuels company. Spoo continues to be active in Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and currently serves as the AFA Alliance Chair and Representative to the AFA board of directors. She is also a member of AAEA-The Ag Communicators Network and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Amanda Spoo

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 the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — 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.

About NAWG
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.

Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S. – 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome the ruling today by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel that China’s government does not fairly administer its annual tariff rate quotas (TRQ) for imports of corn, rice and 9.64 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat. This decision follows a seperate ruling in late February that determined China provides excessive domestic price supports in excess of its WTO commitments. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) brought these disputes to the WTO in 2016, armed with clear evidence that China’s policies distort world trade of those commodities and create an unfair advantage for domestic production.

“With these decisions, we call on the Chinese government to come into compliance with the rules it accepted when it joined the WTO,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “The world now sees that their policies stifle market-driven wheat trade, block export opportunities and force private sector buyers and consumers to pay more than they should for milling wheat and wheat-based foods. We appreciate that the Trump Administration continues to shine a light on these distorting policies by supporting the WTO dispute cases.”

“NAWG applauds the Administration for pressing the WTO to enforce trade rules that ensure fair trade for U.S. wheat growers,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “Further, we appreciate the work done by those Members of Congress who continued to press on this issue and move the process forward.”

China’s wheat TRQ was established in its WTO membership agreement in 2001. Under that agreement, China may initially allocate 90 percent of the TRQ to government buyers, or state trading enterprises (STEs), with only 10 percent reserved for private sector importers. The private sector typically imports its full portion due to growing demand for flour from different wheat classes with better milling and baking characteristics than domestically produced wheat provides.

However, China’s notifications to the WTO on TRQ usage show an average fill rate of just 25%. The WTO does not require that TRQs fill every year, but it has established rules regarding transparency and administration that are intended to facilitate the use of TRQs.

Considering that China’s domestic wheat prices are significantly more than the landed cost of U.S. wheat imported from the Pacific Northwest, Peterson said the TRQ should be fully used if the system were operating fairly, transparently and predictably as the rules intend.

The facts also argue against potential claims that enforcing the TRQ agreement would threaten China’s food security. China produces more wheat each year than any other single country and currently holds about 50 percent of the world’s abundant wheat supplies. If China met its 9.64 MMT wheat TRQ, its farmers would still produce 90 percent of domestically consumed wheat. Opening the wheat TRQ would also allow private sector millers and food producers to import more of the types of wheat they need, but cannot now obtain, and the benefits would be passed on to China’s consumers.

“Once China meets its obligations under the WTO and the temporary retaliatory tariffs are removed, wheat farmers from the United States and other countries can compete fairly for sales to this growing market,” Peterson said.

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 the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

NAWG is a federation of 22 state wheat grower associations that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, DC, NAWG is grower-governed and grower-funded, and works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, agricultural research and sustainability.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome today’s announcement by President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that Brazil has agreed to implement a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) for wheat, a longstanding obligation under Brazil’s World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. This agreement opens an annual opportunity for U.S. wheat farmers to compete on a level playing field for 750,000 metric tons (about 28 million bushels) of wheat under the TRQ.

“We are grateful to the Trump Administration for championing the interests of U.S. farmers and specifically to Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud and USDA Under Secretary Ted McKinney for prioritizing the issue of Brazil’s TRQ commitment,” said Chris Kolstad, USW Chairman and a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont. “This new opportunity gives us the chance to apply funding from the Agricultural Trade Program and other programs to build stronger relationships with Brazilian millers and a more consistent market there for U.S. wheat.”  

Brazil was the largest wheat importer in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world in marketing year 2017/18. Most imports originate duty-free from the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Wheat from all other origins requires payment of a 10 percent duty. Brazil agreed to open the TRQ to all origins, including the United States, in 1995, but then notified the WTO that it wanted to remove the TRQ. Those negotiations were never concluded. Brazil did open the TRQ temporarily in 2008, 2013 and 2014 when there was a shortage of wheat within Mercosur. During those years U.S. wheat made up more than 80 percent of imports from outside Mercosur.

“This is a big win for U.S. wheat farmers, the Trump Administration, and members of Congress who have pushed for action on this issue,” said Ben Scholz, NAWG President and a wheat farmer from Lavon, Tex. “I’m glad to see Brazil fulfill its commitment and look forward to a stronger trading relationship between us. When countries remain in compliance with the WTO, like we see here, it creates a level playing field for wheat for both countries.”

In some years, Brazil has imported as little as 115,000 metric tons of U.S. hard red winter and soft red winter wheat. That is why USW has worked toward implementation of Brazil’s wheat TRQ for a decade. USW plans to invest export market development funding in technical support and trade servicing to help demonstrate the quality and value of U.S. wheat for millers and bakers.

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of wheat for U.S. 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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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcomes the ruling today by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel that Chinese government payments to farmers for wheat exceed China’s aggregate measure of support (AMS) commitments and significantly distort global wheat trade. The panel was formed after the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) challenged China’s domestic agricultural support programs for wheat, corn and rice through the WTO dispute settlement process in September 2016.  

“We are very pleased that the Trump Administration has continued to support this dispute and a second case that challenges China’s administration of the 9.6 million metric ton (MMT) tariff rate quota (TRQ) on imported wheat that its government agreed to when it joined the WTO,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “U.S. farmers have been hurt by China’s overproduction and protectionist measures for too long and it’s past time for China to start living up to its commitments.”

USW President Vince Peterson

According to a 2016 Iowa State University study sponsored by USW, China’s domestic market support price for wheat at the time of almost $10 per bushel cost U.S. wheat farmers between $650 and $700 million annually in lost income by preventing export opportunities and suppressing global prices. As a result, the Chinese government has purchased and stored enormous stocks of domestic wheat. USDA now estimates that by June 2019, China will hold 140 million metric tons of wheat, accounting for 52 percent of global ending stocks. Not coincidentally, this hugely disproportionate stock holding is almost the same as the cumulative 130 MMT of wheat that China has not purchased under its WTO TRQ since 2001. This is a fundamental supply factor that continues to depress market prices. It also hurts Chinese flour millers who are forced to purchase over-priced, low-quality domestic wheat from these stocks, as well as their customers who pay more for the flour.

“The past two decades have been a lost opportunity for the WTO negotiating function as major countries like China have refused to take on new responsibilities,” Peterson said. “Perhaps this unfortunate situation will be the wake-up call countries need to realize that restricting trade and unfairly advantaging domestic industries in global markets winds up hurting everyone. Meanwhile, we applaud the use of the WTO dispute settlement and counter notification processes to push back when countries violate rules on agricultural support.”

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of wheat for U.S. 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.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), which represents the interests of U.S. wheat farmers in export markets, is pleased to announce that Mr. Kazunori “Rick” Nakano will join the organization April 1, 2019, as Associate Country Director for Japan, based in Tokyo. Nakano brings more than 27 years of grain trading and management experience with Japan’s Marubeni Corporation to USW. He will work closely with USW Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya, who intends to retire from his position in late September 2019.

“Rick’s work with Marubeni includes trading with Gavilon Grain in Omaha, Neb., and managing trading operations at Columbia Grain’s Portland, Ore., export operation,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler. “His experience is a real benefit for our farmers and for our loyal customers in Japan. In the short term, he will help us navigate the challenges for growers and customers as the United States and Japan negotiate a new trade relationship. He is also an excellent choice to maintain the trust and transparency that has marked our long and very successful partnership with Japan’s wheat buyers, millers and wheat foods industry. While it will be difficult to say good bye to Charlie, we are very happy to welcome Rick to our organization.”

Kazunori “Rick” Nakano

Mr. Nakano joined Marubeni’s cereals and grains section in 1991 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from WASEDA University. His next post was as Marketing Manager at Columbia Grain (CGI) in Portland before returning to Japan and becoming General Manager of Marubeni’s Wheat and Barley Section in 2005. In 2009, he returned to CGI as Vice President to supervise its business operations. He expanded his management responsibilities in 2011 as Assistant General Manager, Food Unit, and General Manager, Global Grain, of Marubeni America Corp. in New York, N.Y. In 2013, Mr. Nakano was appointed Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Agriculture, of Marubeni’s Gavilon Agricultural Investment, Inc., division in Omaha and named General Manager in 2015. Most recently, he was Corporate Officer and General Manager of Marubeni’s Pacific Grain Terminal subsidiary in Tokyo.

Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya .

Mr. Utsunomiya joined USW in May 2007 after the death of former Country Director Takeo Suzuki. His path to USW also led from grain trading management with Marubeni, including as Chairman of CGI. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Marubeni’s invested rice mill subsidiary, General Manager of the company’s soy processing division and Assistant General Manager of its food division among other positions over his 30-year career with Marubeni.

“We were fortunate Charlie could put that expertise and deep personal knowledge of our customers and contacts in Japan to work for our organization and the wheat farmers we represent,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “His leadership helping us pursue every advantage in the Japanese market has been invaluable. He has been a sage counselor, guiding our efforts properly and effectively through the intricate business culture that accompanies any problem or opportunity there. Charlie’s successful stewardship will leave U.S. wheat interests in a strong position at a very important time in Japan.”

U.S. wheat farmers have maintained a close connection with Japan since 1949, when the Oregon Wheat Growers League organized a wheat export trade delegation to Japan. Following that trip, a variety of marketing and educational activities were started in Japan to promote U.S. wheat, including a school lunch program and a “Kitchen on Wheels” that travelled through rural Japan. USW legacy organization Western Wheat Associates opened an office in Tokyo in 1956.

Since that time, Japan has imported significantly more U.S. wheat than any other country. Buyers at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries import significant amounts of U.S. hard red spring, hard red winter and Western White wheat, which is then re-sold to Japan’s milling companies to produce flour for bread, noodles, confectionery items and dozens of additional commercial products.

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 the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.