Fair trade is important to farmers

Green Rows of Agriculture fields in Calexico along the Interstate 8 east on the boarder of California and Mexico.

Trade wars have been in the national news in recent months. For those in the Imperial Valley, we may think that those discussions will have little to no impact on the agricultural products grown here. It seems to be limited to soybeans, pork and industrial products, such as steel and aluminum. We, however, are part of the larger world and the trade wars could have an impact on our exports.

We do export our crops. The Imperial County Ag Commissioner issued 19,264 federal certificates for export in 2017, up from 19,002 certificates in 2016. While we tend to think the majority of these exports are hay and straw (alfalfa comes to mind), 32.8 percent of them were for vegetables and another 11.4 percent of them for seed. The primary countries for export of our local crops were Japan (37.1 percent), Mexico (34.9 percent), South Korea (9.9 percent), China (4.4 percent) and Canada (4.1 percent). So, you can see the balancing that is the goal in these international discussions that may impact our ability to trade fairly does have some concern to our growers.

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