Perdue on ‘Roots’ tour as farm bill, NAFTA deadline loom |

Perdue on ‘Roots’ tour as farm bill, NAFTA deadline loom

-The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is undertaking his fourth “Back to Our Roots” tour this week as the House attempts to take up the farm bill and a Thursday deadline looms for the U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators to complete a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement if congress is going to consider it this year.

Perdue will make stops in New Mexico today and continue on to Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska through Thursday.

Farm Bill Schedule

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to write a rule on general debate for the farm bill on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and to consider how to handle amendments on the bill on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday that the House would take up the farm bill beginning Wednesday. The House is scheduled to be in session until 3 p.m. on Friday.

The House Rules Committee website lists 103 farm bill amendments that have been filed.

NAFTA deadline Thursday

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said last week that Congress must have “the paper — not just an agreement, we have to have the paper — from USTR by May 17 for us to vote on it this year, in December, in the lame duck.”

But prospects do not look good for achieving an agreement by that deadline.

On Friday, President Donald Trump again called NAFTA a “horrible, horrible disaster,” adding that Canada and Mexico “don’t like to lose the golden goose. But NAFTA has been a horrible, horrible disaster for this country. And we’ll see if we can make it reasonable.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Friday that she and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will be “on call” and ready to return to Washington if it looks like an agreement is nearing, Washington Trade Daily reported.

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