Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive July 2011 Show 1131 U.S. Wheat Exports

U.S. Wheat Exports

America is the largest wheat exporting nation in the world, but currently the biggest hurdle is not abroad, but right here in our nation's capitol.
U.S. Wheat Exports

Wheat harvesting

For more information visit this link:

U.S. Wheat Associates

Show Dates

Show 1131: U.S. Wheat Exports

Air date: July 31, 2011

 

Transcript

COURTENAY DEHOFF:  AMERICA IS THE LARGEST WHEAT EXPORTING NATION IN THE WORLD, BUT CURRENTLY THE BIGGEST HURDLE IS NOT ABROAD, BUT RIGHT HERE IN OUR NATION’S CAPITOL.  JOINING ME NOW IS OUR ANDY BARTH.

ANDY BARTH:  THAT’S RIGHT COURTENAY, WITH CONGRESS BATTLING IT OUT OVER OUR NATION’S DEBT ISSUES, U.S. WHEAT PRODUCERS AND POLICY MAKERS ARE FIGHTING A BATTLE OF THEIR OWN.  THEY’RE URGING CONGRESS TO PASS A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH COLUMBIA BEFORE OUR NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH TAKE OVER.  IT’S A STAPLE KNOWN BY ALL OKLAHOMANS, WHEAT; AND IT’S HARVESTING BUSHELS OF ATTENTION ON AN INTERNATIONAL TRADING FIELD.

SHANNON SCHLECHT:  THIS AGREEMENT WILL DEFINITELY PUT U.S. WHEAT FARMERS AT RISK.

ANDY:  SHANNON SCHLECHT IS THE DIRECTOR OF POLICY FOR THE U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES, AND SAYS A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRY OF COLUMBIA COULD PUT U.S. GROWERS AT AN ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE.

SHANNON:  WE DEFINITELY NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE CANADIAN AND COLUMBIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT THAT’S EXPECTED TO GO, UH, BE IMPLEMENTED AUGUST 15TH OF THIS SUMMER.

ANDY:  BUT IT’S NOT THE FACT THAT CANADIANS HAVE REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE COLUMBIANS THAT WORRIES U.S. WHEAT GROWERS THE MOST, IT’S THAT IN OUR OWN NATION’S CAPITOL, FEDERAL LAWMAKERS HAVE BEEN SLOW TO REACH A SIMILAR ACCORD;  PUTTING U.S. WHEAT IN A GLOBAL SALES DISADVANTAGE.

SHANNON:  FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY DO ALLOW US TO COMPETE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.  WE’VE SEEN MANY SUCCESSES FROM FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED.

ANDY:  AND ACCORDING TO WHEAT ASSOCIATES PRESIDENT, ALAN TRACY, THE MONEY UP FOR GRABS IS WORTH A BIG BUNDLE OF WHEAT.

ALAN TRACY:  RIGHT NOW WE HAVE IN THE RANGE OF 70% OF THEIR MARKET, IT COULD FALL TO WELL UNDER HALF THAT.  WE COULD EASILY LOSE A 100 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FROM U.S. FARMERS’ POCKETS IF WE DO NOT GET THE COLUMBIAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT PASSED BY CONGRESS.

ANDY:  WHEAT PRODUCER HANS HAYDEN SAYS COLUMBIA STILL WANTS THE U.S. PRODUCT, BUT MONEY IS THE ISSUE

HANS HAYDEN:  SO WE CANNOT COMPETE AS WHEAT GROWERS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES THAT HAVE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH A 15-35% MARKUP, BECAUSE OF THE IMPORT TAXES.  THEY LIKE U.S. WHEAT IN COLUMBIA, THEY WANT IT; BUT, THE PRICE STILL WILL TRUMP ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENS THERE.

ANDY:  IT’S A MARKET THAT SCHLECHT SAYS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY.

SHANNON:  COLUMBIA IS OUR, OUR CONCERN.  IT NEEDS TO BE DONE, IT NEEDED TO BE DONE YESTERDAY, IT NEEDS TO BE DONE TODAY, IT NEEDS TO BE DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO KEEP U.S. WHEAT FARMERS COMPETING ON A FAIR AND LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.

ANDY:  NOW IN THE LAST MARKETING YEAR, THE UNITED STATES EXPORTED 24.2 MILLION METRIC TONS OF WHEAT, WHICH CALCULATES TO OVER 895 MILLION BUSHELS, VALUED AT 5.3 BILLION DOLLARS.

COURTENAY:  ALRIGHT ANDY, SO WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE U.S. AND COLUMBIA AS THIS DRAWS NEARER?

ANDY:  WELL COURTENAY, COLUMBIA IS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF U.S. WHEAT AND THEY WANT TO CONTINUE THAT RELATIONSHIP; BUT THEY SAY THAT IF THE UNITED STATES CAN’T PASS THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, COLUMBIA WILL BE FORCED TO DO BUSINESS WITH CANADA AND SAVE ABOUT $45 A TON IN TARIFFS DUE TO THE LACK OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES.

COURTENAY:  ALRIGHT, THANK YOU ANDY.