Sec. Perdue Won’t Leak Possible Tariff Relief Plan

6/27/18 Tight-Lipped Perdue At United Fresh


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks at an event to celebrate the re-introduction of American beef imports to China, in Beijing, China June 30, 2017.
( REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein )

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrote an op-ed piece for USA Today Monday focusing on trade tensions and telling farmers he’s working on tools to help ease the burden.

“The president has instructed me to craft a strategy to support our farmers in the face of retaliatory tariffs,” he wrote.

He said U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has tools at its disposal to support farmers faced with tariff and downturns in the commodities markets.

“To this point, we have not unveiled our strategy, as it is not practice to open our playbook while the opposing team is watching,” said Perdue.

Farm Journal Washington correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer said President Trump’s aides are looking at ways to use the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act, a division of USDA created in 1933 to offer financial backstop for farmers. At the United Fresh Convention in Chicago, Perdue admitted he is looking at the CCC, but doesn’t want to implement it unless necessary.

“We [USDA] actually met [Monday] looking at the balance sheet there are what our expectations are going forwarding regarding our capacity to do that,” said Perdue. “So, while CCC is part of the tool in there, it’s not everything. That’s why we are not laying out the whole playbook for the defense to look at.”

AgDay national reporter Betsy Jibben talks to Perdue at the United Fresh Convention on AgDay above.

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