Following unilateral and poorly-conceived tariffs announced by the Trump administration, a number of trading partners – including allies – have announced or enacted severe retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including on wheat and pulse crops that are grown in eastern Washington.
Most notably, China responded to the administration announcing its own severe tariffs, including a tariff on U.S. wheat and soybeans. Add those to already-existing tariffs on other Washington-grown products, including India’s 50 percent tariffs on lentils and India and Mexico’s tariffs on apples, and Washington’s export economy has become severely threatened by the administration’s trade policy.
Last week, U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers released a joint statement on the recent actions taken by the administration, which have made “an already risky business of agriculture even more volatile.” I agree wholeheartedly with their statement.
Congress needs to act, and eastern Washington’s representative needs to stand up to the administration for farmers in our district, before our agricultural economy is irreparably damaged. In the first week of June, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a bipartisan bill along with other senators to curb the president’s ability to levy unilateral tariffs without approval by Congress, but it has yet to even receive a hearing.
With a viable, bipartisan solution on the table, it is not enough for my opponent to merely say that she’s advocated behind-the-scenes with policy advisors in the administration. There is action that Congress could take today.