U.S. SENATE — 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.”
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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.
Daines’ Record on Trade:
On April 12, 2018, at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Steve 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.
On February 16, 2018, Daines led 25 senators in sending a letter to President Trump urging the President to act on his recent statements expressing interest in considering an improved Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
On January 30, 2018, Daines sent a letter to President Trump, reaffirming the benefits on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and urging him to modernize it to reflect the 21st century economy.
On November 20, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to consider the critical role agriculture plays in the U.S, economy and its dependence on trade.
On November 8, 2017, Daines secured an agreement between JD.com, one of China’s largest retailers and the Montana Stockgrowers Association with the intent to purchase a minimum of $200 million in Montana-sourced beef over the next several years.
On June 28, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Lighthizer, urging him to consider the impact of trade with Mexico and Canada on the U.S. agricultural industry while renegotiating NAFTA.
On June 8, 2017, Daines sent a letter to USTR Ambassador Lighthizer, outlining priorities for a modernized NAFTA.
On May 12, 2017, Daines announced that an agreement was reached to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef no later than July 16, 2017.
On May 5, 2017, Daines led a letter to the Chinese Premier asking him to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef.
On April 17, 2017, Daines returned from leading an official congressional delegation trip to China where he hand-delivered four Montana steaks from Miles City to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and pressed Chinese officials to finalize negotiations and re-open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Premier Li.
On April 5, 2017, Daines led 39 Senators in asking Trump to prioritize opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef.