Written by Senator Jerry Moran. This is an excerpt from Senator Moran’s Weekly Newsletter, Kansas Common Sense.
You can read the entire newsletter by clicking the link here.
On Wednesday, I called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to take action to resolve a longstanding trade barrier ag producers face when exporting wheat to Brazil. Brazil agreed to establish a 750,000 metric ton duty-free tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for wheat under the Uruguay Round agreement. However, since that time, Brazil has failed to live up to its commitment to the detriment of Kansas wheat farmers. Rather than open the TRQ, Brazil continues to apply a 10 percent tariff on U.S. wheat exports.
Kansas is the largest wheat producing state in the nation. As Kansas farmers continue to face low prices and declining revenues, it is critical that Congress and the Administration work to grow export markets for U.S. ag commodities. It has been conservatively estimated that opening the TRQ would result in $75 million in additional annual U.S. wheat sales to Brazil. By challenging Brazil’s failure to implement the wheat TRQ – including launching a trade enforcement action at the WTO if necessary – USTR has the opportunity to increase wheat exports to the country. I will continue working to make certain Kansas wheat farmers have access to the Brazilian market and that my colleagues understand our Kansas producers need more trade, not less.