Chinese Retaliation is No Longer a What If for Soybean Farmers

first_imgFollowing China’s announcement of a proposed 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans, the American Soybean Association (ASA) is again expressing its extreme frustration about the escalation of a trade war with the largest customer of U.S. soybeans, and calling on the White House to reconsider the tariffs that led to this retaliation. China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production. ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer issued the following statement:“It should surprise no one that China immediately retaliated against our most important exports, including soybeans. We have been warning the administration and members of Congress that this would happen since the prospect for tariffs was raised. That unfortunately doesn’t lend any comfort to the hundreds of thousands of soybean farmers who will be affected by these tariffs. This is no longer a hypothetical, and a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans into China will have a devastating effect on every soybean farmer in America.“Soybean futures are already down nearly 40 cents a bushel as of this morning. At a projected 2018 crop of 4.3 billion bushels, soybean farmers lost $1.72 billion in value for our crop this morning alone. That’s real money lost for farmers, and it is entirely preventable.“We regret that the administration has been unable to counter China’s policies on intellectual property and information technology in a way that does not require the use of tariffs. We still have not heard a response from the administration to our March 12 letter requesting to meet with President Trump and discuss how the administration can work with soybean farmers and others in agriculture to find ways to reduce our trade deficit by increasing competitiveness rather than erecting barriers to foreign markets.“But there is still time to reverse this damage, and the administration can still deliver for farmers by withdrawing the tariffs that caused this retaliation. China has said that its 25 percent tariff will only go into effect based on the course of action the administration takes. We call on President Trump to engage the Chinese in a constructive manner—not a punitive one—and achieve a positive result for soybean farmers.”last_img read more

Washougal hires state fraud manager as director of finance

first_imgThe city of Washougal has hired the state fraud manager who investigated the city earlier this year as its new finance director.Jennifer Forsberg, 35, has worked for the Washington State Auditor’s Office for the past nine years. Prior to becoming fraud manager for the state department four years ago, Forsberg worked as an auditor and supervisor at the department’s Vancouver office. Mayor Sean Guard expects the city council will finalize Forsberg’s contract, including her salary, during an executive session Monday. She is set to take over as Washougal’s top financial officer sometime during the week of July 26, once she fulfills prior commitments with the auditor’s office.Guard admitted the hire was a bit ironic but said the decision seemed natural.“If I’m the CEO of the city of Washougal, and I happen to be, and you’re looking to make sure certain things never happen again, golly, let’s make the person in charge of the house someone who knows what’s going on,” Guard said.Forsberg oversaw the several-month fraud investigation in the city of Washougal that wrapped up in March. The state department launched the investigation after revealing in an earlier audit the city was unable to account for about $100,000 in revenue from city events. The auditor’s office was unable to determine if a misappropriation of public funds occurred because of the city’s insufficient record-keeping. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office launched a criminal investigation at Guard’s request. The investigation is ongoing.Forsberg replaces Jeffrey Bivens, who was fired in December after failing to obtain insurance coverage. Assistant finance director RJ Stevenson has filled the position in the interim.last_img read more

Parents invited to kindergarten meeting

first_imgLa Center Elementary School will hold a meeting next week for parents of incoming kindergarten students.Parents can learn about the school’s two kindergarten models — daily and every other day — plus speak with kindergarten teachers and current every-day kindergarten parents. Parents will also be given an exit survey to express their thoughts on the two models.The meeting will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 21 in the K-8 library, 700 E. Fourth St. Childcare will be available.You can call La Center Elementary at 360-263-2134 for more information.last_img

Update Firefighters find motorcycle no driver after Washougal traffic accident

first_imgEast County Fire & Rescue on Friday afternoon found a wrecked motorcycle at the scene of a traffic accident in Washougal but no driver.The accident, which was reported just after noon on Southeast Vernon Road near Southeast 357th Avenue, sounded serious, said Mike Carnes, division chief for East County Fire & Rescue.A woman was initially reported to be lying in the road, according to radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.“They found a bike in the ditch” but no patient, Carnes said Friday afternoon.last_img