Perdue Confirmation Hearing Not Set

The Senate Agriculture Committee likely won’t have a hearing on Sonny Perdue’s nomination until mid-to-late February. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says it’ll take that long for Perdue’s financial disclosures to be analyzed in case of potential conflicts of interest and to finish an FBI background check.

Financial disclosure paperwork questions have led to delays in the confirmation of other Cabinet nominees, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Perdue’s financial statements from his run for Georgia governor in 2006 show he was worth about $6 million and his businesses about $2.8 million. He is a founder of Perdue Partner’s LLC, a global trading firm that helps companies to export ag products like grains, nuts, produce, and alcohol, in addition to industrial supplies, pet food, and cosmetics. He’s also owned several grain-and-feed-processing and transportation companies.

Ag Groups Want NAFTA Gains Preserved

The Hagstrom Report says 133 food and agriculture industry groups sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week urging him to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, while “preserving and building on the gains that have been made.”

The letter was released by the Corn Refiners Association, whose high-fructose corn syrup is a major export to Mexico. The letter notes that U.S. food and agricultural exports have produced a trade surplus for nearly 50 years. The letter says, “Consistent growth over that period of time has resulted in over $150 billion dollars’ worth of exports, which created $423 billion in U.S. economic activity in 2015.”

The groups note that the market integration NAFTA has achieved has quadrupled the value of U.S. food and Ag exports to Canada and Mexico. The groups say in the letter that there are a few economic sectors that need to be addressed in the agreement and they look forward to working with the new president to reduce non-tariff trade barriers that inhibit American exports abroad.

Source;  NAFB News