US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue Says President Committed To Getting Good Deal With China On Trade

(WNAX) — House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson hosted a listening session at Farmfest on the farm economy with members of Congress and U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Farmers from all sectors of agriculture talked about the need for trade deals like USMCA and bringing an end to the trade war are the keys to turning around the farm economy. Perdue says the President feels agriculture’s pain…

“We’re already seeing the short term pain and that’s why you have the market facilitation program; it tries to back fill as much of that pain as possible. It’s not designed, nor is it intended, nor is it expected to, make people whole and any farmer would rather have a good crop at a fair price than a government check. The President understands that, but, he also understands that if farmers have born a disproportionate share of the retaliatory action of China and that’s why he feels compelled to help them survive economically until we can get our trade resolution done.”

Perdue says the President is committed to getting a good deal with China that includes purchases and hopes to pick talks back up in September…

“Again… we, they, we were expecting China to come back to the U.S.; we sent a team over there last week. The Chinese were fairly intractable in their decisions last week; but, they did talk about coming here in September. We want to continue talks; President Trump would love to have trade resolution, but you can’t deal with a nation, the number two world… world economy, that cheats and steals and bills this economy; its military and its desire for world dominance over cyber theft and intellectual property transfer.”

The Secretary says the administration is sensitive to the loss of more farmers. But even with the newest round of retaliation and no end in sight to the trade war, the Administration isn’t looking at additional help…

“Again, there’s no other intended plans there; that sixteen billion dollar market facilitation program is the plan for 2019. Again, that’s the current situation; if President Trump has any other ideas we’ll talk to him and think, depending on what the market does for the rest of the year. But, there are no plans right now of doing something else currently.”

Farmers also expressed frustration with the ag labor crisis and this year’s cropping disasters.