Administration Is on Farmers’ Side on Exports, Says Perdue
From President Trump down, the administration recognizes the importance of farm exports, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, adding that he expects to make frequent trips overseas to promote sales. Farmers voted by wide margins for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton last November, although Trump’s plans to renegotiate NAFTA and overhaul trade pacts in general has stirred concern in rural areas.
“I think the president is a great negotiator,” Perdue said during a YouTube Live forum with FFA members in Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia. “I’ve got a lot of confidence” that Trump understands that exports are vital to farm income.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said during a teleconference last week that farmers should not worry about adverse effects from the administration’s plans to overhaul trade agreements. “If I were a farmer, I would plant as much as I can logically plant in today’s environment,” said Ross.
“Secretary Ross is committed to making sure we have great trade policies for agricultural products,” said Perdue when asked what he thought of Ross’s advice. “He understands the productive capacity of American farmers and he believes it’s their responsibility to produce and our responsibility to sell it. And I like that theory. That’s what he and I want to do with the USTR (U.S. trade representative) all across the world.”