Vancouver grain inspections to resume says Daines
August 25, 2014
Representative Steve Daines released the following statement on today's announcement that federally-mandated grain inspections will resume at the Port of Vancouver:"Montana wheat exports from the Port of Vancouver to international markets will begin once again. This is great news for Montana farmers, but the grain inspections should never have stopped in the first place," Daines said. "Delays like these negatively impact Montana farmers while needlessly damaging the reputation of U.S. producers abroad. USDA and GIPSA must develop a plan and take concrete steps to ensure that future disruptions to inspection service do not happen at this or any port."
The Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will resume the inspections it has contracted to do with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative labor agreement with the Pacific Northwest Grain Companies.
Daines had been pushing strongly for USDA and GIPSA to immediately resume inspections after the WSDA stopped carrying them out.
"We're extremely grateful for Congressman Daines' efforts in working through this problem. We're hopeful today's agreement will immediately restore grain inspection service to the Port of Vancouver while we continue working with Steve on a long-term plan to prevent future disruptions," Matt Flikkema, grain producer from Manhattan, Montana and President of Montana Grain Growers Association, said.
Last week, Daines spoke to White House officials as well as the Administrator of GIPSA to demand the immediate resumption of inspections and a plan to prevent future stoppages.
Additionally, Daines was joined in July by Representatives from North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Indiana in calling on USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to take action requiring GIPSA to meet its statutory obligation to inspect wheat exports.
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