GFB News Magazine

Trump, Perdue talk trade

Posted on February 17, 2020 12:00 AM

Speaking at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in Austin, Texas, President Donald Trump touted the phase one agreement the U.S. reached with China and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Congress passed.

Over the next two years, the phase one agreement will open new markets for American beef, pork, poultry, soybeans, dairy, animal feed and more, the United States Trade Representative office says.

“China has made substantial commitments regarding the protection of American ideas, trade secrets, patents and trademarks. China has also pledged firm action to confront pirated and counterfeit goods,” Trump said.

The phase one agreement with China is enforceable, Trump said, promising his administration would “vigorously enforce its terms.” He thanked America’s farmers for sticking with him during the past two years of negotiations.

Under the new USMCA trade agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Trump said American dairy exports are set to increase by more than $300 million a year and U.S. poultry exports to Canada could increase by nearly 50%. He expects egg exports to Canada and Mexico to increase significantly and that Canada will treat U.S. wheat fairly.

Trump reiterated his disdain for overreaching federal regulations, citing his administration’s work to repeal the Waters of the United States rule.

While speaking at the AFBF convention on Jan. 20, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reinforced many of the trade points the president made the day before.

“New trade deals and strong consumer demand are a sign of brighter days ahead,” Perdue said.

Perdue said farmers should not expect a 2020 trade aid package.

“Now let’s grow stuff. Let’s sell stuff. That’s what this trade deal was all about,” Perdue said.

On Feb. 3 the USDA began issuing farmers the last round of the $16 billion trade aid package announced in May 2019.

Perdue said the USDA will track the ag imports China buys and report them to the president.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said he is optimistic about both trade deals.

“We don’t know everything about the trade deals yet, but it’s better than what we had so I’m very optimistic,” Long said.

During the AFBF business session, voting delegates adopted all 25 of the resolutions GFB submitted. GFB policy AFBF delegates approved included: farmers’ right to repair farm equipment, component pricing for dairy farmers and support for producers impacted by retaliatory trade tariffs.

AFBF voting delegates also re-elected Zippy Duvall to his third two-year term as AFBF president.