May 20, 2022
Fargo, US 47 F

Trump Transition Team Hones In On USTR Pick

Most farm, ranch, pork and poultry organizations want to see a level playing field when it comes to international trade for agriculture and trade deals.
President-elect Donald Trump has signaled a major shift in trade policy – threatening China and Mexico with tariffs if they don’t correct trade wrongs. He’s no fan of NAFTA, and he’s said the potential TPP trade agreement is a dead deal the moment he takes over the Oval Office.
Several pundits agree that rural American voters were part of the formula that helped to propel Trump to his surprising White House victory. The question now becomes how Trump’s administrative trade policy will line up following his inauguration after plenty of fiery rhetoric on the campaign trail last year. indian-rural-market-837345_960_720
American Farm Bureau Trade Expert Dave Salmonsen says there are plenty of one-on-one trade opportunities out there with single countries – rather than a widely sweeping deal like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

AFBF

Agriculture has been skeptical so far about trade negotiations with the European Union on a deal commonly known as T-TIP, while the Obama administration has been quietly forging ahead on that front.
Ambassador Darci Vetter has served as chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office  in the Obama administration.  She expressed optimism earlier this year that agriculture would embrace the deal.

USTR

Reports Tuesday indicated that Robert Lighthizer is being tapped by Trump to head the US Trade Representative’s office. Lighthizer has prior trade negotiating experience from the Reagan administration – and according to his website bio – has most recently worked as a trade lawyer for manufacturing, agricultural, and high tech companies.
With less than three weeks until his January 20th inauguration, Trump has yet to fill out a handful of remaining cabinet positions – including agriculture secretary.
While Trump has been meeting with several potential candidates – the latest rumor is that former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is in the lead for the top job at USDA.
Perdue was the top Democrat in the Georgia Senate from 1994-1997. He switched parties in 1998 and continued to win Senate races as a Republican.
Perdue, 70 years old, grew up as the son of a farmer and a schoolteacher in central Georgia.
Meanwhile – members of the 115th Congress were set to be sworn in Tuesday – setting off an aggressive campaign by Republicans who control the House and Senate to dismantle 8 years of President Obama’s policies.
 
NAFB News Service – Wire Reports
 

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