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Secretary Perdue to deliver aid, not trade by Labor Day

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United States Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue offers insight into the Department of Agriculture’s plans to help producers negatively impacted by trade tensions.

Secretary Perdue on Tuesday talked to Axios co-founder and executive editor Mike Allen about trade tensions with China, as well as other countries. Perdue understands farmers are “bearing the brunt” of ongoing trade disputes. While he remains hopeful for a quick resolution, he is wasting no time in constructing a backup plan.

Secretary Perdue says he was charged by President Trump last fall to organize a trade disruption mitigation plan. Perdue intends to unveil the mitigation plan by Labor Day.

“These are business people,” Secretary Perdue said. “Farmers love their lifestyle, but they are business people. They have to make a profit. I tell the President that they (farmers) are some of the best patriots in America, but they can’t pay the bills in patriotism. And that’s what we hope to cure.”

Farm organizations, such as the America Farm Bureau Federation, have been advocating for “trade, not aid.” However, Perdue prepares to protect $140 billion in exports, $20 billion which are “very vulnerable” right now, in the event where trade disputes are left unresolved.