Perdue: Farmers Aren’t Afraid of Tariffs’ ‘Temporary Pain’
Agriculture Secretary also said farm community does not want to be "the only soldiers in this battle"
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Friday he believes the Trump administration has taken a necessary hard stance on trade with China and that the nation's farm community understands the sacrifices that might result according to a report at the Tennessean.
China has levied new tariffs on pork, apples and other products in retaliation against tariffs President Donald Trump has approved on imported steel and aluminum.
China has increased the tariff rate on eight imported U.S. products by 25%, and 15% on some others, mirroring Trump’s 25% charge on imported steel and 15% hike on aluminum.
"I applaud the president for standing up to China, who’d been cheating for years on intellectual property theft, on really not playing by the rules internationally," Perdue said at Ellington Agricultural Center, now headquarters for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
"Other people have just allowed them to get away with it, and he’s called their hand on it," he said. "The good thing about the constituents I represent, the producers, farmers, ranchers, foresters of America, is they’re Americans first. They’re patriots."
But while the secretary said the country was built on the backs of farmers and ranchers who aren't afraid of "some temporary pain," he said the farm community does not want to be "the only soldiers in this battle."
Perdue said the president understands the importance of trade and assured him Americans farmers will not be held hostage in the trade battles with China.
Read the full report here.