Tags: Trump Administration | agriculture | secretary | NAFTA | trade

Ag Secretary Perdue: We Won't 'Accept a Worse Deal' on NAFTA

Image: Ag Secretary Perdue: We Won't 'Accept a Worse Deal' on NAFTA
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks Wednesday at the Agriculture Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 May 2017 08:24 PM

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue insists farmers and ranchers will not be worse off after the Trump administration renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Perdue said some segments of the farm sector might benefit from a fresh look at NAFTA, including dairy farmers, sugar producers, and Florida fruit producers.

"We're going to try and balance the scorecard," Perdue said.

The Journal noted NAFTA has become a "critical cog" in the nation's agricultural economy, with farm exports to Mexico hitting about $18 billion in 2016.

Perdue told the Journal that President Donald Trump must weigh NAFTA's impact on every aspect of the economy, not just agriculture.

"I can assure you that neither this president, nor [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross nor I, are going to negotiate or accept a worse deal than we have it now," Perdue said. "Our goal is to make it better for all producers."

The Journal reported it was Perdue and Ross who helped convince Trump to renegotiate – rather than terminate – the trade pact, after they showed Trump a map of states where jobs would be lost if NAFTA ended – many of them states he won in the election.

Trump "may have had a perception that NAFTA was somewhat disadvantaged in all aspects," Perdue told the Journal. "He gave us more time to negotiate that rather than terminate."

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue insists farmers and ranchers won't be worse off after the Trump administration renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement.
agriculture, secretary, NAFTA, trade
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2017-24-03
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 08:24 PM
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