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Perdue optimistic about trade and farm bill

Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

A speech from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to members of the Illinois Farm Bureau this weekend revealed the hopes of Sonny Perdue as they relate to trade and the 2018 Farm Bill.

Regarding the announced ninety-day cooling off period between the United States and China- Secretary Perdue expressed hope that the pause in tariff threats will result in U.S. farm products being bought once again by the Chinese – “I’m excited about the possibility of China buying our stuff again and stop stealing our stuff! That’s really what it’s about – We want ‘em to buy our stuff and stop stealing it.”

On the 2018 Farm Bill conference report – he acknowledged that the measure won’t get final consideration this week in Congress because of the focus in Washington over the death and memorial services of former President George H.W. Bush. He does expect that we will know more details about the bill by early next week.

Perdue does believe that farmers will like Title I – the federal farm safety net programs. He expects there will be positive tweeks in both the PLC and ARC programs and that crop insurance will be fully protected.

Speaking to reporters after his comments to the general farm organization, he told them that it is “yet to be determined” whether China will remove the tariffs on U.S. soybeans, saying “Those are issues that will be fleshed out in the next few days.”

He also talked with reporters about Mexico and the hope by Ag interests to see retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork lifted by Mexico – Perdue saying, “That’s what we are working on with the Section 232 tariffs. That has to be negotiated down to a quota rather than being a tariff situation. We are working with the White House and others to make that happen as soon as possible. There are ongoing meetings all the time.”

Finally he touched on the farm bill, where the administration didn’t get all it wanted.

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