With BREXIT looming around the corner, could Washington’s Ag community benefit with new and expanded trade opportunities? That’s a question Washington state Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison looked to answer during a recent trip to London.
Sandison recently joined several other American Ag representatives for a tour of the U.K., to see what kind of sales opportunities may exist post BREXIT. He noted there is a lot of growth potential for a variety of Washington producers.
“Currently, we export hops, canned salmon, peppermint oil, apples, cherries, spearmint oil, wine and other products. But again, we think there’s a lot more potential for growth particularly in the area of apples and tree fruit, hops, wine, shellfish, dairy products and berries.”
He noted the biggest question the remains, the BEXIT itself.
“If there is an agreement with the European Union, and it’s more or less status quo, and doesn’t change a lot, then probably our opportunities to grow in that market are limited, but if its closer to something like a hard BREXIT, then I think the U.K. will want, and it will increase their desire to have a strong agreement with us.”
Sandison noted he and his colleagues from Alabama, South Carolina, Missouri, Indiana and Nebraska were on an exploration tour, trying to determine what trade opportunities may exist. He noted the delegation was not in the U.K. to strike up a trade deal. The U.K. was scheduled to leave the European Union October 31st, but is on hold as general elections have been scheduled for December.
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