With the news of a potential 25% increase in tariffs on soybeans to China, trade has been the hot topic during Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s “Back to Our Roots” RV Tour in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. The trip’s purpose is to hear ideas and concerns from local farmers, agriculture students and researchers, business owners, community leaders, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees.
Perdue said that we have a good agreement with Korea that was recently renewed and, “there’s optimism regarding NAFTA, which will help to reduce that anxiety level to some degree. If we could get NAFTA renewed, then people would feel much better about that. Then we would cope with China. These announcements are just the beginning, and hopefully the announcements from both sides will bring both countries to the table to address some of the unfair trade practices we believe China is engaged in.”
Secretary Perdue says that President Trump is not going to let farmers be the losers in a trade war.
“I spoke with him personally last night. He called me to say, ‘while you’re in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky, you make sure our farmers know that I won’t let them be the casualties in these trade disputes.’ He understands that agriculture, based on its bountiful production, is always the tip of the spear in retaliatory measures, and he’s convinced (that won’t) be the case.”
Perdue’s RV Tour ends today in Kentucky.