by Ben Nuelle
(AMES, IOWA)– An ISU Economist says Trump is not afraid to pick a Secretary of Agriculture who challenges him.
Iowa State Economist Chad Hart says the next Secretary of Agriculture will be the most important in a long time.
“We went through this election with very little discussion of agriculture but a lot about trade and so that has thrown a lot of uncertainty within our agriculture markets. Exports are the key feature when looking at our demand side,” Hart says. “To me, President-Elect Trump’s appointment on a Secretary of Agriculture is most important because it signals to us ‘What does that renegotiation look like for agriculture and what does the new administration think about ag policy?”
Hart feels Trump will pick someone who challenges him on trade.
“I believe he will. We heard a lot of negative aspects of trade throughout the election. When you look at agriculture we see the positives of trade. We export 12 percent of our corn, 12 percent of our beef, 25 percent of our pork, 25 percent of our dairy, and 50 percent of our beans. The idea is we depend on export markets. That’s where we get our growth. Yes, I want a Secretary of Agriculture who will defend agricultural trade to the president,” Hart says.
Hart says even though Trump may scrap the Trans Pacific Partnership, he is not opposed to working bi-lateral agreements with each of those countries involved to get a better deal.
Hart opened the 28th annual Integrated Crop Management conference at Iowa State in Ames Wednesday.