Beef Buzz News
Secretary Sonny Perdue Optimistic that Advancements in International Trade will Soon Pick Up Pace
Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:16:37 CDT
US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spent an entire day this week, visiting the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Before addressing attendees during the Convention’s general session, Perdue met with members of the media. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays was there and participated in the Secretary’s press conference, during which he spoke on several subjects, including agricultural trade.
You can listen to the Secretary's comments regarding agricultural trade in Indianapolis the week below
He began, affirming that Japan had just reelected its sitting President, Shinzo Abe, insinuating that the country’s leaders had hoped to get passed their election process before making any serious moves related to expanding trade with the US.
“We think they’ll be more ready now to negotiate over free-trade agreements,” he said. “We’re anxious to do that. We think they should really be anxious to do that - regarding tariffs and access of beef. We feel like we could make a real difference there.”
The Secretary mentioned, too, that in a recent meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the status of NAFTA negotiations and international trade relations, he said several other countries in the Pacific Rim were identified as important markets that the US should aggressively work to gain access to. He remarked on his optimism to now have Ted McKinney in place as USDA’s chief salesman, on hand to help in these efforts.
“We’ve got a lot of markets there,” Perdue said. “That’s why I’m very happy to have Undersecretary for Trade Ted McKinney to be here. I look forward to him knocking on doors, meeting with our customers and to sell them on the benefit of healthy, nutritious agricultural products.”
Regarding NAFTA, Perdue defended the agreement insisting it has been extremely beneficial for the US ag industry. He reported, though, that the negotiators were currently “conceptually apart” and were taking an intermission. He expressed hope that three nations would eventually come together to finalize modernized terms to the agreement, and leave agriculture’s position unscathed.
You can listen to the Secretary’s comments regarding agricultural trade made at the National FFA Convention this week, with Ron Hays on today’s Beef Buzz. You can also click here, to jump to another story, featuring an interview between Hays and Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.
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