Legislation was recently introduced that has the potential for increasing the viability of foreign markets for American produce. The bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Josh Hawley looks to reevaluate the strength of the dollar to allow U.S. exporters to better compete with other countries.
“When our dollar’s too strong, it really affects our export availability to be able to export,” said Steve Beck, President and Owner of Kings River Produce. “It can get some pretty violent swings so even though a lot of our processors that we contract with have contracts with foreign countries, if that market swings, that dollar gets too strong, the foreign countries aren’t able to purchase the product so we lose those contracts.”
The strength of the dollar has a more significant impact on commodities such as wheat, barley, and soybeans, but the effect has also been felt in other industries such as processing tomatoes. Beck noted the issue has become more of a challenge in the last five to eight years. “The dollar of the United States has gotten so strong it’s making it really difficult for any export products out of the Central Valley,” said Beck.
Listen to the report below.