Friday, July 13, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Tours Port of Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently visited the Port of Vancouver USA and met with local leaders as part of his Back to Our Roots Tour, which started July 2 in Spokane, Washington. Purdue toured the port’s grain terminal and a Tidewater Barge Lines tug and barge at the port’s Berth 4.

“From 465 miles inland into the United States, for our farmer-producers all the way in Idaho (to) ship out of this port…it’s a great advantage to America, really, to have this kind of infrastructure,” Perdue said.

About half of USA wheat that comes from inland farms travels the Columbia-Snake River System to international markets. The port alone handles 10 percent of the nation’s wheat annually and is the second-biggest steel importer on the U.S. West Coast.

Port-related activities are a significant financial generator for the region, accounting for 20,200 jobs and $2.9 billion in economic benefit.

“It was an honor to host Secretary Perdue at the Port of Vancouver and in our community,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “We appreciated the opportunity to share the great work happening here on the Columbia River as well as some of our concerns about trade and agriculture, which are critical issues for communities and workers across Washington State.”