By Casey Wooten
Congress and the Trump administration “better get moving pretty quick” to put trade officials in place to help support agriculture exports, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said.
Top Trump trade priorities, like renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement or taking a tougher position on trade with China, would heavily impact the farm economy. NAFTA members Canada and Mexico, as well as China, are top importers of U.S. agricultural goods.
Roberts said U.S. trade policy should boost agricultural exports to help offset low commodity crop prices in the U.S.
“Farmers need to see a green light on an aggressive trade policy that moves the product,” Roberts told reporters March 7.
The Trump administration’s pick to be U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, is scheduled for a nomination hearing in the Senate Finance Committee March 14.
But many senior Office of the U.S. Trade Representative posts, like deputy U.S. trade representative, chief agriculture negotiator and deputy chief of staff, remain vacant.
Six weeks after his nomination, the Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to announce a confirmation hearing for Sonny Perdue, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Agriculture Department.
Roberts told reporters that he and committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are still waiting on Perdue’s background and disclosure documents from the Trump administration before they can schedule a hearing.
“We would have to get the paperwork, which I’m very hopeful we’ll get this week,” Roberts said. “Then we have to—I say, we, both sides, Sen. Stabenow and myself and the rest of the committee—we have to make sure everything’s in order.”
A White House aide told Bloomberg BNA March 3 that a paperwork backlog at the White House is the cause of the delay, but the Trump administration would send the paperwork to the Senate soon.
Roberts said he wasn’t sure what was causing the delay, but stressed the need to have someone representing agriculture interests as the White House crafts major trade policies like a NAFTA renegotiation.
“We need to get him down there; we need a strong champion for agriculture inside the Cabinet,” Roberts said.
— With assistance from Nancy Ognanovich
To contact the reporter on this story: Casey Wooten in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)