Jan 16, 2020
Support from USTR to boost Washington state asparagus industry sought

U. S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, sent a letter Jan. 14 to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, thanking him for his work negotiating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and urging further action to support and strengthen the Washington asparagus industry.

“While I am very appreciative of your progress with USMCA and look forward to the Senate completing their work, the Washington asparagus industry remains concerned by unfair trade practices due to increased imports from Mexico and Peru, rising labor costs, and escalating overall production costs, which could force growers in Washington out of business,” writes Newhouse.

Newhouse continues, “I hope that we can work together to find a solution to strengthen the Washington asparagus industry.”

  • Washington state is a top producer of asparagus in the United States
  • According to USDA, Washington asparagus growers harvested 4,300 acres of asparagus in 2017
  • Asparagus is produced in the Columbia Basin, the Yakima Valley, and the Walla Walla area

The full letter can be found here and below.

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

I write to thank you and the Trump Administration for your efforts to reinforce our international trading relationships with our closest trading partners Canada and Mexico, through the negotiation of the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA).  I write to you today requesting additional actions to support American seasonal specialty crop growers and more specifically, the Washington asparagus industry.

The United States and the State of Washington has a long history of growing the highest quality asparagus in the world. As the former state director of agriculture for Washington, a top producer of asparagus in the country, I know we can continue to produce the highest quality product for all to enjoy.  While I am very appreciative of your progress with USMCA and look forward to the Senate completing their work, the Washington asparagus industry remains concerned by unfair trade practices due to increased imports from Mexico and Peru, rising labor costs, and escalating overall production costs, which could force growers in Washington out of business.

I recognize that USMCA is critically important to American workers, farmers, and businesses. I hope that we can continue to work together to find a solution to strengthen the Washington asparagus industry.

Sincerely,

Dan Newhouse

Member of Congress




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