Trade Policy Top Of Mind For Perdue

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 4:17pm
(Photo by Bret Jaspers - KJZZ)
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spent Monday morning in Scottsdale, talking about the impact of federal agricultural policy on Arizona and other farming states.

At the annual conference of The National Grain and Feed Association, Perdue said he fears tariffs on aluminum and steel could start a trade war.

“We’ve impressed upon the White House as well as Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Ross of the concerns we have regarding agriculture and farm products being used as the weapons in any retaliatory measures,” he said.  

Perdue said farmers are afraid and anxious, but he is hopeful that President Trump will issue tariff exemptions on a country by country basis.

"The American farm worker produces more than we can consume here. And it's the one that contributes to trade surpluses. So, we are hoping that most countries will understand how to cure the trade deficit is to buy more agricultural products, not less," he said.

Perdue also said there’s an irony in using steel and aluminum tariffs to solve a trade imbalance when agricultural exports actually address that for the United States.

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