By Tom Steever

The new U.S. Agriculture Secretary says the Trump administration will approach the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) from the stand point of protecting U.S. farmers.  NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.

Perdue says trade negotiations will protect Missouri farmers

In his first Midwest news conference Thursday, Sonny Perdue told reporters there are products that Mexico produces better than the U.S. and products that Canada produces better, which he says is the essence of how NAFTA will be handled.

“From an agriculture perspective, we grow stuff very, very well,” said Perdue, “and my job as USDA Secretary is to go around the world and make sure we’re able to market and sell the products that we grow.”

His third day on the job, Secretary Perdue addressed the President’s proposed 21% cut in the agriculture budget.

“I’m prepared to defend that budget, although I would prefer it not be that way,” said Perdue.  “But as an American facing a $20 trillion debt with 14 grandchildren, I don’t think it’s my moral responsibility to kick that debt to those 14 grandchildren.”

Perdue held the news conference at the USDA’s Beacon Facility in Kansas City, which, Perdue said, is where USDA operations would relocate if for some reason they could not be in Washington.