Talking agriculture with the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is in Utah to meet with Governor Gary Herbert. Before his meeting, he joined Good Morning Utah to talk about agriculture in Utah.

Included below is just some of the information he discussed with Emily Clark:

China Trade

Since taking office, President Trump has been standing up to China, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate its unfair trade practices.  

President Trump is taking action on trade policy to open markets so that American farmers can compete globally.  No longer can we rely on China alone – we need to diversify our markets. This is Administration is negotiating deals across the globe to sell the bounty of the American Harvest.

China recently backtracked on commitments made during the negotiations, therefore, President Trump asked Secretary Perdue to craft another package to support farmers while the Administration works to reach fully-enforceable commitments to resolve structural issues and address our persistent trade deficit with China.

The talks to date have covered a wide range of critical issues, including:

  • The need for stronger protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in China;
  • The need to remove market barriers and tariffs that limit United States sales of manufactured goods, services, and agriculture to China;
  • The need to address market-distorting forces, including subsidies and state-owned enterprises, that lead to excess capacity.

SNAP and Work Requirements for ABAWDs

Americans are an exceptional people. We are uniquely independent, but we are also giving people, willing to help our neighbor in their times of need. Anyone of us can face tough times, and as a community, we come together to help others.  At the same time, we expect those who we assist to in turn take responsibility for themselves. Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream. We need to move people with a helping hand, not a giving hand – promoting self-sufficiency. 

In 1996, Democrats and Republicans came together to reform our welfare programs to restore the system to what it was meant to be: “a second chance, not a way of life,” in the words of then-President Bill Clinton.  

Over time, without any changes in the underlying welfare reform legislation of 1996, that ideal has been watered down by out-of-control administrative flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

President Trump has directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to take steps to restore integrity to SNAP and move people toward self-sufficiency.      

For Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) – those non-disabled people between the ages of 18 and 49 – there is a reasonable expectation for them to work or look for a job.  

Let’s be clear about who we’re talking about.  This rule would not apply to the elderly, the disabled, or pregnant women.  We want to make sure that the people who truly need the assistance will continue to receive it.

Government dependency has never been the American dream. SNAP reform should look to empower individuals and families by ensuring they have access to nutritious food to eat while also encouraging them to pave a pathway to long-term self-sufficiency. 
 
50th State

“It is my honor and privilege to serve America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers as they work to feed and clothe the world. Getting out of Washington, D.C. and connecting with the people of American agriculture is one of my favorite parts of the job. All across our great nation is where American ingenuity, strong character, and the wisdom to build strong families and communities shines. On every visit to every community, I discover new ideas and methods, listen to issues people are facing, and I take them back with me to make changes to better serve our customers. President Trump has such an affection for America’s farmers and ranchers because of their values and ingenuity,” said Secretary Perdue.

Throughout his travels, Secretary Perdue has met with a number of folks who have had specific problems when it comes to working with the federal government. The Secretary has taken those concerns back to Washington, D.C. and has worked to deliver concrete solutions to the problems facing farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers.

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