Exports

Adam Perkins / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. and China signed a trade deal Monday to open the Asian market to American beef. The Chinese market has been off-limits to American ranchers since 2003 after a mad cow disease scare.

Cameron Mulrony is with the Idaho Cattle Association, and says having exports to China is a big deal.  

“The Chinese is a growing market, it’s a large market," says Mulrony. "And those people are traveling and have the taste for U.S. beef so we’re hopefully optimistic that that in turn will give us a boost in our market.”

Richard Lam / CP, AP Images

The Trump Administration recently announced a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports.

The trade dispute over softwood lumber is nothing new. Softwood lumber is what home builders use, and the Canadian market is a big one in the United States. According to University of Idaho forest economics professor Greg Latta, American companies have long felt that Canadians have an advantage because Canadians log on nationally-owned forests – amounting to a government subsidy.

Business leaders who traveled with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on his recent trade mission to China say the trip was a success.

KIVI-TV reports that business leaders say they will likely see a lasting impact as a result of the trade meetings.

Otter and representatives of the state's milk, potato, wheat and hay industries visited Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou between Oct. 28 and Nov. 5 to promote trade between the cities.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

In 2014, Idaho ag exports hit a record value of more than $1 billion. Levels like that now seems like a distant memory.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Agricultural exports, a major segment of Idaho’s economy, took a 22 percent drop last year. That’s a decline of more than $200 million. Domestic ag sales were down in 2015 as well, as were the state’s non-ag exports, but neither saw as steep a drop as agricultural exports.

Roughly a quarter of Idaho ag products go overseas. And the going over the sea part was some of the problem according to Laura Johnson, market development manager at Idaho’s Department of Agriculture. Issues at west coast ports hurt sales to Asia.

For nearly a century, The Bassett Furniture Company was the center of life in the town of Bassett, Virginia, just as its wealthy namesake family was the foundation of the town’s prosperity. But that all changed in the 1980s, when cheaper Chinese products began flooding the American furniture market. The imports threatened the Bassett family legacy, as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of Virginians.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will lead a group of Idaho-based business leaders on a weeklong trade mission to Peru and Mexico next week.

The trip includes businesses ranging from producers of milk and potatoes to makers of boat docks and skin care products. The companies are aiming to increase exports to Central and South America.

The business leaders will also attend receptions with U.S. Ambassador to Peru Brian A. Nichols next Tuesday and U.S. Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne to Mexico next Thursday.

tdlucas5000 / Flickr Creative Commons

Farmers in Idaho say hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of beef, potatoes, apples, cheese and other products are languishing in storage because of problems at West Coast ports. The state’s agriculture officials are trying to pressure dock workers and their bosses to resolve a labor dispute and resume normal operations.

Idaho potato farmers say the port delays have prompted some overseas customers to cancel their orders altogether.

Jim Mertz of the Symms Fruit Company in Caldwell says only about 20 percent of their shipments this fall made it out of port on schedule.

For the Northwest wine industry this is crunch time. A massive rail and trucking facility in southeast Washington is pushing its final shipments out to arrive on store shelves before the New Year.

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.

A slowdown at Western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest.

A slowdown in operations at ports up and down the West Coast is choking off the flow of apples, Christmas trees, potatoes and other Northwest products to foreign markets.

Micron, circuit boards
Micron Technology

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is getting ready for a nine-day trade mission in Russia.

The Republican governor, his staff and Idaho business leaders will leave Boise Friday.

The trip caps a busy year of international travel for Otter, who has already made official visits to Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea.

flickr/jonny boy

Japan has temporarily suspended white winter wheat purchases from the Pacific Northwest.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture announced the move in response to a report that U.S. regulators found genetically modified wheat on an Oregon farm.

Reuters reports South Korea has also suspended U.S. wheat imports.

Courtney Flatt / Earthfix

A coalition of tribal leaders and politicians gathered in Seattle Monday to announce the formation of a new group that opposes coal exports in the Northwest.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and State Representative Reuven Carlyle were among a group of Washington politicians and tribal leaders who announced the creation of the Leadership Alliance Against Coal. The group says it will work to “raise awareness about the damaging economic, cultural and health impacts of coal trains and coal exports”.

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