Lt. Gov. Parson meets with new US Secretary of Agriculture

Kari Scott
April 30, 2017

NY dairy and vegetable farmer, Maureen Torrey from Genesee County, joined 13 other farmers from across the country for a roundtable discussion yesterday with President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“Perdue has the support of agriculture groups and lawmakers from farm states who say he can represent the interests of farmers in a Trump administration dominated by wealthy business executives.”.

Following reports Wednesday that an executive order is being prepared that would withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Moore warned in a statement that such a move could have disastrous consequences for the nation's leading agricultural export in light of the still-struggling USA agricultural economy.

As agriculture secretary, he is in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation's food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies and conservation efforts, food safety, research and rural development programs for small towns. Perdue's nomination - farmers and rural Americans have lacked the champion they need in the president's cabinet. "They like Trump, but I like them, and I'm going to help them".

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Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert hopes Perdue is aggressive in securing and opening up foreign markets for Illinois agricultural products, especially in Mexico and Canada through NAFTA, a trade agreement Trump has criticized. The President was "engaged and made it clear that he expects Secretary Perdue to be very active in addressing agriculture's policy priorities", said Torrey.

Republican Senate Steve Daines calls Perdue an "excellent" pick for the position, and says he looks forward to hosting him in Montana soon. "It was also good to hear him say that there needs to be a year-round solution to agriculture's labor needs and to hear him talk about the need for a skilled ag worker program". "Those people are different than the criminal people, illegal criminals preying on the population of the United States of America".

"I love Gov. Brownback", Perdue said when asked about the possibility that Brownback could still land a role in the administration.

President Trump recently ramped up discussions on NAFTA by implementing a 20% tariff on soft woods from Canada as a retaliation for Canada's protectionist trade practices related to ultra-filtered milk. "Perdue demonstrated a real understanding of the challenges facing the agriculture industry and a willingness to work together to find solutions", Roberts said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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