PULLMAN, Wash. — As the Asian financial crisis continues to have an impact on Washington State’s economy, Washington State University agricultural economist A. Desmond O’Rourke has been assessing its consequences for the state’s agricultural industry. O’Rourke will appear this month as a featured guest on “Serious Money,” a weekly public affairs program on PBS hosted by Barry Mitzman, to discuss the impact of the Asian monetary crisis on the state.
“The first impact has been fewer purchases and lower prices for many products sold in Asia because of the lower purchasing power of Asian customers,” O’Rourke said. “That impact has been most severe on apples, where world supplies have been growing at the same time that Asian demand slipped.”
The “Serious Money” program will air on Friday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 20, in Washington at the following times: KCTS – Channel 9/Seattle, Friday at 8 p.m.; KYVE – Channel 47/Yakima, Friday at 8 p.m.; KWSU – Channel 10/Pullman, 1:30 p.m. on Sunday; and KTNW – Channel 31/Tri-Cities, 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
In Oregon, it will be broadcast on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 4 p.m. on: KOPB – Channel 10/Portland; KOAB – Channel 3/Bend; KOAC – Channel 7/Corvallis; KEPB – Channel 28/Eugene; and KTVR – Channel 13/La Grande.
In Idaho, the program will air on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 4 p.m. Pacific Time and 5 p.m. Rocky Mountain Time on the following stations: KAID – Channel 4/Boise; KIPT – Channel 13/Twin Falls; KUID – Channel 12/Moscow; KCDT – Channel 26/Coeur d’Alene; and KISU – Channel 10/Pocatello.
A leading authority on Washington State’s fruit industry, O’Rourke directs the university’s International Marketing Program for Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). Established in the mid-1980s as an integral unit of the WSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics, the program addresses technical, economic and social problems arising in international markets. O’Rourke has taught agricultural marketing and policy and done research on international trade and agricultural products at WSU since 1970.
Recent CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Economist, and “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” (PBS) stories about the Asian financial crisis have consulted the WSU scholar. His article, “The Washington Agricultural Outlook,” appears in this month’s edition of Washington CEO magazine. He is the author of “The Changing Dimensions of U.S. Agricultural Policy” (1977), and “The World Apple Market” (1994).

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