November 4, 2016
The Honorable Dan Newhouse
c/o Dan Newhouse for Congress
PO Box 10949
Yakima, WA 98909
Dear Congressman Newhouse:
We write today because it has come to our attention that Clint Didier has been running ads claiming that last year’s repeal of COOL was bad for eastern Washington. We believe nothing could be further from the truth.
Last year, the Washington apple industry found ourselves in the cross hairs of a WTO dispute between the U.S. and Canada/ Mexico over this very issue. The U.S. lost a case in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and if our lawmakers did not bring us into compliance before the looming deadline U.S. goods and products headed to Mexico and Canada would be hit with stiff tariffs.
Mexico and Canada represent the largest export markets for Washington apples. In 2014, sales totaled well over $450 million. There was reason to believe the tariffs against apples were going to be set at the 100% level. If those tariffs were levied, the results would have been devastating to Washington growers and the impact would have been felt throughout the industry.
We greatly appreciate the role that you and your staff played, working with House leadership and across party lines to support the legislation that passed the House of Representatives and saved us, in literally the 11th hour, from a trade disaster.
As you know, the Washington apple industry represents over $2 billion in annual farm-gate value and the downstream number jumps to $7.5 billion when you factor in packing, shipping marketing and processing. Those dollars represent companies, many of them family owned, and jobs, most of them right here in the fourth district.
You have been a steadfast champion for agriculture and the apple industry and for that we thank you.
Jon Alegria, Tieton, Washington, Chairman, U.S. Apple Association
Mike Wade, Wenatchee, Washington, Immediate Past Chairman, U.S. Apple Association
Bob Price, Yakima, Washington, U.S. Apple Board Member
Mike Preacher, Yakima, Washington, U.S. Apple Board Member
Frank Davis, Yakima, Washington, Former U.S. Apple Board Member