National Association of Wheat Growers Domestic and Trade Policy Committee Chairman and Montana Grain Growers Association President Ryan McCormick traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify on wheat growers’ priorities for ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union, known formally as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
McCormick was a guest of the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by one of his local legislators, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). In his statement, he focused on goals for wheat growers during the negotiations, including the elimination of all U.S. wheat import duties; the implementation of science-based, least-trade restrictive regulations related to sanitary and phytosanitary measures; and development of a more predictable European approval process for crops enhanced with biotechnology.
He emphasized that a recently completed EU-Canada trade agreement will put U.S. exports at a disadvantage if similar preferences aren't secured in the current negotiations. He also carried the wheat industry’s support for trade promotion authority, which allows for an up-or-down vote on negotiated trade deals and which Baucus and others have reportedly been working to secure.
In marketing year 2012/2013, the EU was the sixth largest customer for U.S. wheat, importing soft red winter, hard red spring and durum.
McCormick’s testimony is available in full at www.wheatworld.org/wp-content/uploads/trade-mccormick-testimony-EU-trade-deal-20131030.pdf.