Perdue: Votes against USMCA would be to punish Trump
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said today that the only reason House members would have to vote against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade would be to punish the Trump administration.
“The only reason to vote against it is not to give the administration a win,” Perdue told the United Fresh Produce Association.
Perdue acknowledged, however, that fruit and vegetable producers in the Southeast, including his native Georgia and Florida, are not happy with the agreement because it does not address surges in tomatoes and other produce from Mexico.
Perdue said he understands “the frustration” in the Southeast that “seasonality” was not addressed, but said the agreement does not go backward and helps other sectors of agriculture.
Perdue also said he believes that “the ball is in the speaker’s court,” a reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., since Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has sent her his proposed solutions to Democrats’ objections to the agreement.
Pelosi, he said, “is well intentioned” and working well with Lighthizer.
United Fresh, an organization representing the produce industry nationwide, has endorsed USMCA despite objections from growers in the Southeast.