The Senate Agriculture Committee convened a hearing on Tuesday and expressed a great deal of concern over the trade strategy of President Donald Trump and its effects on the U.S. farm economy.
Politico says farm-state senators used the opportunity to direct Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to impress on the Trump administration just how sensitive commodity markets are to trade actions. Committee Chair Pat Roberts of Kansas says producers are being used as pawns in Trump’s crackdown on what he argues are unfair trade practices by China and other countries.
After a full year in the Trump administration, Politico says Perdue has gotten good at defending the president’s trade actions while assuring farmers he has their back. Perdue says the updated trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is an example that the strategy is working, but he did acknowledge there wasn’t much added benefit for food producers in the new agreement.
In the meantime, Trump announced Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others will be traveling to China in a few days to hopefully negotiate a deal to help both countries avoid slapping tariffs on each other’s goods.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.