Sonny Perdue on Free Trade

Republican GA Governor


Promote agricultural interests to international markets

Additionally, Perdue recognizes that American agriculture needs a strong advocate to promote its interests to international markets. The United States is blessed to be able to produce more than its citizens can consume, which implies that we should sell the bounty around the world. The relationship between the USDA and its trade representatives, as well as with the U.S. Trade Representative and Department of Commerce, will be vital. The work of promoting American agricultural products to other countries will begin with those relationships and will benefit us domestically, just as it will fulfill the moral imperative of helping to feed the world. Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.

Under Secretary Perdue, the USDA will always be facts-based and data-driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. He will seek solutions to problems and not lament that the agency might be faced with difficult challenges.

Source: USDA official website for Trump Cabinet biographies , Dec 31, 2018

Supports USMCA trade agreement to replace NAFTA

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:

One of the core promises that swept President Donald Trump into office was that he would renegotiate better deals for the United States with our traditional trading partners. With the announcement of a new trade pact among the United States, Mexico and Canada, we welcomed the tremendous news that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be, if approved by Congress, replaced by a much stronger agreement. Known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the package will be important for American workers and the economy.

Perdue said, "The great news of a new USMCA deal is important for our economy as a whole, including the agricultural sector, which counts Canada and Mexico in our top three trading partners. We have secured greater access to these vital markets and will maintain and improve the highly productive integrated agricultural relationship we have as nations."

Source: White House press release "USMCA" in Trump Cabinet statement , Oct 2, 2018

Farmers want trade, not aid; but $12B aid for now

American farmers would rather have trade deals from President Donald Trump than need government tariff relief, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Everybody wants trade, not aid. There's not a farmer in America that would rather not have a good crop and a fair price than a government check," he added. "That's what they do. That's what they put their equity on the line every year for."

But since those trade disputes, especially with China, are not settled, the Trump administration is initially making $6 billion available in emergency aid to farmers.

The Agriculture Department has authorized up to $12 billion in relief to U.S. growers. Soybean producers, in particular, have been hard hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs and stand to get up to $3.6 billion in assistance under the Market Facilitation Program.

In June, Perdue told CNBC that Trump instructed him to make a plan for any potential impact from a trade war on farmers.

Source: CNBC "Squawk Box" on 2018 Trump Administration , Aug 29, 2018

Renegotiate trade deals with China, Mexico, and Canada

President Trump is pursuing new trade deals and concessions from China and other nations to change what he sees as unfair trading practices. In June, Perdue told CNBC that Trump instructed him to make a plan for any potential impact from a trade war on farmers.

Perdue said at the time that he was calculating the effects of trade disruptions on a weekly basis and making them known to the administration. The payments to farmers will be based on "actual production, not on any kind of average," Perdue said. "It's going to be individual, by farmer."

The relief will not be able to make farmers "whole," but to ensure they don't have a disastrous season, he said.

Trump said [the new] trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, paving the way to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, will help farmers and manufacturers. Perdue predicted that the U.S.-Mexico trade deal will get Canada to come along on a finalized, new NAFTA-type agreement among the three nations.

Source: CNBC "Squawk Box" on 2018 Trump Administration , Aug 29, 2018

Tariffs on China are painful now, but healthy later

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Fox News that President Trump's tariffs on imports from China, the European Union and other nations are "a little bit like weight loss: it's kind of painful to start with, but you're healthier in the end." However, Perdue also acknowledged "legitimate anxiety over the tariffs and the pain they've caused."

The secretary spoke to Fox News as a set of 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods is due to take effect Aug. 23. The proposed tariffs affect more than 6,000 product lines, including seafood, tobacco and car components. Beijing has responded by threatening new tariffs of 5% to 25% on roughly 5,000 US products.

"China has not been playing by the rules for years and we've allowed for them year after year to get away with that," Perdue told Fox News. "And frankly, we've got barriers across the world, not just in China, but in the European Union. If we turned our farmers loose in America they would own the market internationally."

Source: Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain on 2018 Trump Cabinet , Aug 15, 2018

Rework NAFTA for dairy and poultry tariffs in Canada

On January 8, 2018, while speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation, Perdue urged Canada to complete an update to NAFTA. He said, "To get a deal we need all sides to seriously roll up our sleeves and get to work. We have put a number of proposals on the table to modernize NAFTA, and critically for agriculture, to address key sectors left out of the original agreement--dairy and poultry tariffs in Canada. Now we want to see our negotiating partners step up and engage so we can get the deal done."[
Source: Ballotpedia.org article on Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue , Jan 8, 2018

Helped save NAFTA by showing Trump red state farmers need it

President Trump was set to "terminate" the North American Free Trade Agreement until top advisers sat down with him to press him to go another route. Perdue even brought along a prop: A map of the United States that illustrated the areas that would be hardest hit, particularly from agriculture and manufacturing losses, and highlighting that many of those states and counties were˙"Trump country."˙You know the rest: By Wednesday evening, Trump had backed off his plans.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Trump Cabinet , Jan 19, 2017

Make Atlanta hub for Central America FTAA trade

Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed ambassadors and other senior government officials from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. The purpose of their visit was to discuss trade relations between Georgia and Central America.

"During your visit, you will see that Atlanta is an important and growing hub for international trade. We've developed strong business ties with our neighbors in the Americas. We want to keep strengthening those relationships," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I understand the importance of this region to Georgia's future. Central America is one of the fastest growing markets for the U.S., and especially for Georgia."

During his remarks, Governor Perdue also asked the visiting officials for their support to locate the headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Atlanta.

Source: Georgia voting records: press release on ambassadorial visit , Mar 21, 2005

Other candidates on Free Trade: Sonny Perdue on other issues:
2019 Trump Administration:
Former Obama Administration:
Pres.:Barack Obama
V.P.:Joe Biden
State:John Kerry
HUD:Julian Castro
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.:George W. Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.:PBill Clinton
V.P.:Al Gore
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
DOL:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno

Cabinet Archives:
Trump Cabinet
Trump Administration
Trump Books
Obama Books
Bush Books
Clinton Books
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Jan 21, 2020