U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue works diligently to reach a trade agreement with Europe.
United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue concludes a six-day visit to Europe Tuesday. During his visit, Perdue participated in the G-7 Agricultural Ministers. Perdue stressed the importance of bilateral trade at the meeting.
“We’ve been discussing (bilateral trade) directly,” Perdue said. “I communicated, to all members of G-7, that we wanted to make trade deals based on sound science discovery, not perceived myths.”
Perdue specifically addressed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove regarding unfavorable beliefs about U.S. poultry.
“Interestingly, they refer to (U.S. poultry) as “bathed in chlorine,” which is not a commonly used processing option in the U.S. There seems to be hiding behind phytosanitary excuses, simply for protectionism purposes. We need to be very transparent, very honest with each other. If we’re not willing to trade with one another, we need to address that based on a sound science discovery and not hide behind it, Perdue said.
Perdue gauged consumer reaction to U.S. food products at Costco, in Spain. He said Spanish customers positively viewed U.S. food products, and the customers should decide on the products they receive, not regulators.
“Frankly, they have good opinions and want more, but we are prohibited from bringing dairy, poultry and other products in from the U.S. We think there is a hunger for U.S. products which EU regulations are preventing and restricting. I simply asked our EU partners, EU commissioner and individual countries, ‘Why don’t we be transparent about what these products consist of in a fair labelling way and let consumers make the choice over the value and their values?’”
Perdue emphasizes – the United States wants to exchange both domestic and foreign products, in a fair and open, sound science-based way.