Today in a Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told U.S. Senator Steve Daines that reconsidering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement would benefit America's agriculture community and that he welcomes reengagement with the trade deal.
"Montana's farmers and ranchers need fair access to markets so they can put food on our plates, compete and grow jobs," said Daines. "I am glad Secretary Perdue understands this and is ready to continue to work on behalf of farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the country."
During the hearing, Daines asked Secretary Perdue if believes rejoining the TPP would benefit U.S. agriculture. Secretary Perdue responded "I do", and that he has "encouraged the President in that regard to consider TPP again."
This follows a recent meeting at the White House attended by Daines, Secretary Perdue, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) Larry Kudlow and select elected officials from farm states where Daines voiced the concerns of Montana farmers and ranchers to the President by urging the President to expand access to markets critical to the agriculture community. Daines also led 25 senators earlier this year in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to re-engage in TPP to improve the agreement, secure the benefits of increased market access for U.S. agriculture, and counter China's growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.