Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will travel to Japan and South Korea next week to participate in the G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting. The travel itinerary also includes meetings with his counterparts on global agriculture issues.
The Secretary will deliver a keynote address at the G-20 Innovation and Agriculture seminar this Saturday and speak at the Cotton Council International’s annual Cotton Day on May 14. As part of his meetings, Perdue will join his counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico to discuss global agriculture issues.
The Secretary has planned meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, and Japan’s State Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare, along with Korea’s Agriculture Minister.
During the trip, Perdue will attend a U.S. Meat Export Federation promotional event highlighting the importance of the Japanese market for U.S. meat, as USDA says Japan is the top overseas market for U.S. beef and pork. Finally, Perdue will attend the U.S.-Japan Agriculture Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, as part of his travels.
The Trump administration this week signaled a willingness to provide more trade aid to farmers if needed. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the claims are untrue. While in Iowa, Perdue stated, “I’m afraid that’s not accurate,” adding it could be miscommunication, as reported by the Des Moines Register.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Monday that the Trump Administration has allocated $12 billion for farmers, and that they “stand ready to do more if necessary.” Perdue has repeatedly ruled out any new trade aid for 2019. The Department of Agriculture this week extended the deadline to certify acres under the Market Facilitation Program to May 17.
The program has already paid producers more than $8 billion for losses that occurred in 2018 as a result of retaliatory tariffs from China. Perdue says the President has not discussed any further trade aid for farmers with him. Talks with China could conclude within the next two weeks, and a possible agreement may be signed in June.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the decision to ban the importation of glyphosate.
U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’s extremely disappointed in the decision. “It’s a move that will have a devastating impact on global agricultural production,” he says. “As I’ve said before, if we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers around the world need all the tools and technologies at their disposal.” Perdue says the USDA has shared scientific studies on the safety of glyphosate with the Vietnamese Ag Ministry on numerous occasions.
The studies come from the Environmental Protection Agency and other internationally-recognized regulatory bodies and they all show glyphosate as unlikely to be a carcinogenic threat to humans. He says the decision by Vietnam flies in the face of all the available scientific evidence. Vietnam has sidestepped its obligation to notify the World Trade Organization of the regulatory change. “Vietnam also needs to look at the potential ramifications for its own farmers,”
Perdue adds. “Not only will it slow the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, but there’s also a real risk that the country’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemicals in place of glyphosate.”