Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after sending a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack expressing concern over stoppages to official grain inspections at the Port of Vancouver.
"Wheat growers are at the heart of Eastern Washington's economy, and the continual inefficiencies at the Port of Vancouver pose a threat to our longstanding export partnerships. In the Northwest, over 80 percent of our wheat is exported abroad -- but these stoppages threaten to harm to our established trade with Asia and other parts of the world. This year's wheat harvest is already underway, and our community's farmers, grain handlers, and exporters rely on accurate, timely, and cost-effective mandated official grain inspection to support their livelihood. It is critical we assure our trading partners that the Port of Vancouver will continue to export a reliable supply of high-quality wheat -- our local economy depends on it.
"Together with my colleagues I urge the Federal Grain Inspection Service to take action today to provide the wheat growing community adequate inspection of wheat exports."
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers led the letter to Secretary Vilsack. Her colleagues Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Greg Walden (R-OR), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Raúl Labrador (R-ID) joined her in urging the Secretary's swift action in restoring timely grain inspection.