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Perdue Testifies on the State of the Rural Economy

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding the state of the rural economy in a hearing that focused heavily on international trade. Perdue mentioned natural disasters, burdensome regulations, low market prices and anxiety regarding exports as chief challenges for the farm economy, but noted USDA has begun implementing recommendations from its Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to combat many of these concerns.

Most of the discussion, however, emphasized trade issues and their impact on the agricultural economy. Perdue said he supports President Trump's attempts to bring China into compliance with world trading standards and expressed optimism about North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Perdue also indicated the U.S. should strengthen trade relationships with other populous countries in the Indo-Pacific region - particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, India and nations in South America - to bolster demand for U.S. agricultural exports, especially as the European Union negotiates trade agreements in these markets.

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