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Perdue tackles trade and other ag issues during House Ag hearing

The House Ag Committee had its first opportunity to go one-on-one with the Secretary of Agriculture.

Issues ranged from crop insurance, immigration, the rising age of the farmer, the USDA reorganization and trade.

Chairman Mike Conaway says he wants to know how the USDA’s new undersecretary for trade would fit in with the other governmental trade entities.  “The role that undersecretary will play – not only in making sure the negotiations go the correct way, but also making sure the administration keeps a close look on enforcement of the various trade deals we have out there,” he says.

Secretary Perdue says the new undersecretary will work alongside the newly confirmed US Trade representative and the Secretary of Commerce.  “The Secretary of Commerce has a broader portfolio than we do at the USDA,” he says.  “That’s the blending of trade – you do what you do well and we sell you what we do well.”

He says says people do business with people – and he wants someone whose only job is to sell ag goods around the world.  Perdue says the new undersecretary is going to be a million-mile flier and will be on every potential customers’ front door.  “We know that foreign interests love to see you in person,” he says.  “It’s an honor for them for us to come to their doorstep and call on them and say here’s my card – we want to do the deal.”

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