Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 27, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Port slowdown will have repercussions on markets into the future

There is a window of opportunity in just about everything in agriculture, including getting a crop to market. As a wheat farmer, if I can’t satisfy my customer, all the hard work I spend meeting deadlines won’t matter.

While most wheat grown in Washington moves across the ocean in bulk carriers and is not subject to the work slowdown affecting container exports, I can’t keep quiet after reading news stories about the damage being inflicted on my fellow apple, hay, potato and pulse farmers [“West Coast ports are in rough seas due to slowdown,” Opinion, Jan. 24]. Commodities aren’t things; they demand timeliness. The condition of the product when it arrives is one thing; unhappy customers are another. Markets, which take years to create, can fall on a few bad experiences.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) probably think their tit-for-tat behavior is only affecting the containers they’re not loading right now. In reality, their behavior today will have repercussions on markets into the future.

America is rightly proud to be thought of as the place customers can depend to get their agricultural products. The ILWU’s and the PMA’s actions places that standard in jeopardy.

Steve Claassen, Clarkston, chairman of the Washington Grain Commission

Comments | More in trade | Topics: International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Pacific Maritime Association, port slowdown

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►