Various farm groups in the United States are still meeting with officials of the Trump administration to ensure that they know the significance of trade to different sections of the agricultural sector and the farmers themselves. The latest officials that the farmers met with were from the USA Rice Federation. They also had a meeting with Sonny Perdue, who is the agriculture secretary and had a long discussion about trade, the 2018 farm bill, floods in the Mid-South, food aid, California’s labor shortages, and the positive impacts of having rice research programs.
Perdue understands the importance of exports to the United States’ farmers since he established a firm that majored in international trade after his term as the Georgia governor ended. According to the chairperson of USA Rice, Brian King, 50 percent of the crops that are produced every year are usually exported. Mexico takes 20 percent of the exports due to the freedom that is offered by the North American Free Trade Agreement. The chair of USA Rice’s World Market Price Subcommittee, Keith Glover, told the agriculture secretary that no steps had been made towards completing the U.S.-China Phytosanitary Agreement for the exporting rice and addressing Iraq’s refusal to purchase rice from the United States last year. The problem between Iraq and the US continued yet the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding.
The agriculture secretary said that he had spoken to NAFTA’s president no to go back on the trade deal. He also explained that there were no issues with the China phytosanitary contract, and it only needed to be signed. Purdue said that the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was addressing the Iraq issue and had channeled a lot of resources to agriculture since he understands how the industry supports the country’s trade surplus. The United States farmers are determined to ensure that the rice farming is greatly backed up by being offered a reliable market for their products. They believe that the USDA food aid program plays a significant role in the food industry.