Grain News

ND Rep. Cramer Urges FGIS to Take Action on Port of Vancouver Delays

Date Posted: August 5, 2014

Washington, DC—Congressman Kevin Cramer Aug. 1 urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to take action on delayed grain inspections at the Port of Vancouver in Washington state.

Delays have persisted at the western port due to labor strikes, and recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) delegated certain critical responsibilities of the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).

“In recent weeks, it has come to our attention that WSDA has been either unable or unwilling to perform its official grain inspection duties on a consistent or reliable basis,” wrote Cramer and nine colleagues to Secretary Vilsack.

“This is unacceptable. Our trading partners, as well as farmers, grain handlers and exporters from the Northwest and Midwest, depend upon accurate, timely, and cost-effective delivery of mandated official grain inspection and weighing services administered by FGIS and its designated and delegated agencies.

"As such, it is imperative that we continue to assure all of our trading partners that the Port of Vancouver will continue to export a reliable supply of high-quality wheat, especially with wheat harvest already underway.”

“Understanding the gravity of this situation, we urge FGIS to immediately take action to meet its statutory obligation to inspect wheat exports.

"It is incumbent on USDA and FGIS to ensure the inspections are completed and to prevent similar disruptions in the future,” the letter added.

The signed letter can be viewed here.

Last November, Cramer wrote his own letter to Vilsack outlining his concerns on the issue.

For more information, call 202-225-2611.

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