Congress allotted $23.5 billion for agriculture in the coronavirus relief package, but "that amount of money will not sustain" the farm sector, said the president of the largest U.S. farm group. The sector will need "a whole lot more [money] than was in the CARES Act," said Zippy Duvall of the American Farm Bureau Federation.(No paywall)
Farmers are among President Trump's staunchest supporters, and they have a response to his threats to scrap NAFTA and rewrite other trade agreements: "Without those global markets, our already-depressed farm economy would go down even more," said Zippy Duvall, leader of the largest U.S. farm group. "Trade should not be a dirty word," Duvall told the estimated 7,000 attendees at American Farm Bureau Federation convention, where Trump is scheduled to speak this afternoon.
Newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's first day on the job will be a busy one, following the 87-11 confirmation vote in the Senate that ended more than three months of waiting. Perdue scheduled a start-of-the-workday speech to USDA employees this morning and is to join President Trump for an agricultural roundtable discussion at the White House in the afternoon.
The White House declared "a new era of U.S. trade policy in which the Trump administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies" following its withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Farm groups, whose members voted by a landslide for President Donald Trump, called for protection against loss of farm exports due to the change in focus.
Rural America was key to electing Donald Trump as president and it wants him to prevent over-regulation from growing back like a weed, said the president of the largest U.S. farm organization on the opening day of the group's annual convention. The American Farm Bureau Federation's Zippy Duvall also told reporters that the Trump team knows producers are frustrated by the lack of a nominee for agriculture secretary.