President Donald Trump is once again threatening to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement. USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke with the president this week about the merits of the trade deal. Bloomberg says Perdue is working to convince Trump that NAFTA has been a boon to agriculture. Perdue said the deal does have “rough edges” that could be improved upon. The U.S. is one of the world’s biggest agricultural exporters and Mexico and Canada are both major buyers. Bloomberg says tearing up the 23-year-old deal would put Trump up against the rural base of voters that played a large part in his election. Perdue says during recent conversations with Trump that, “He’s concerned about American agriculture, but he’s also concerned about trade deficits in other parts of the economy, especially in automobiles and manufacturing.” Perdue is hopeful that the White House can find solutions that reconcile and resolve those issues. The secretary says the primary concerns he’s hearing from farmers about the NAFTA talks include labor, regulations, and trade. The second round of talks is September 1-5.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.