Secretary Sonny Perdue: He oversees nation’s farm policy and he has bone to pick with UGA trade deal study
By Secretary Sonny Perdue
May 26, 2019
The University of Georgia recently published a study claiming the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement would cost some Georgia vegetable and fruit growers revenue and jobs. The sensational assertions are flat wrong. As a proud UGA alumnus, I’m here to tell you USMCA is good for Georgia’s farmers and all American agriculture.
Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, USMCA improves virtually every component of NAFTA and Georgia’s agriculture industry stands to gain significantly.
Since the inception of NAFTA more than 20 years ago, agricultural trade between our three countries has boomed. U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico increased by about 300% and our imports increased by almost 500%, benefiting producers and consumers on both sides of our borders.
USMCA benefits Georgia’s entire agricultural industry. By ensuring better market access and solidifying commitments to fair and science-based trade rules with our top trading partners, USMCA is a big win. For the first time, trading rules specifically address agricultural biotechnology to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies. Poultry producers have new access to Canada for chicken and eggs, and expanded access for turkey. Corn growers maintain duty-free access to Mexico, which is the top market for U.S. corn. USMCA updates rules of origin for processed fruits to ensure preferences benefit U.S. producers.
On my first day as secretary, President Donald Trump promised he’d fight for better deals for American farmers – USMCA is proof of that. Our farmers, ranchers, and producers have an abundance of the highest quality products they want to sell around the globe. President Trump is laying the foundation for a stronger farm economy through USMCA and other fair trade deals. When President Trump first mentioned the possibility of withdrawing from NAFTA, the universal hue and cry from agriculture was “do no harm.” Not only has he done that, USMCA is a better agreement than NAFTA on almost every front.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is a former governor of Georgia.