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Secretary Perdue offers Farm Bill and NAFTA updates

Two of the biggest issues in agriculture are Farm Bill and Trade, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addressed both topics on a recent stop in Washington State.

Secretary Perdue thinks we can have a Farm Bill approved before the September 30th deadline.

However, Perdue says we have issues in the House and Senate bills to iron out first.

On NAFTA, Secretary Perdue thinks we have most of the deal worked out with Mexico.

However, Mexico has elected a new President. He will not take office until December, but wants to be in the loop concerning NAFTA. Perdue thinks we can resolve trade with Mexico and bring it to Canada to work with them.

Of course, “As soon as possible” is not a definite timetable.

This also doesn’t shed any more light on the ongoing trade disputes with China over steel, aluminum and intellectual property. This dispute is heading toward an escalating tit for tat tariff policy. We also have tariff issues with the European Union, Mexico and Canada to work out as well.

Secretary Perdue also did not shed any light on what help is coming from the Administration to farmers hurt by these trade disputes.