Ag leader sup­ports rene­go­ti­at­ing trade pact

Cape Breton Post - - Business -

Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Sonny Per­due, who last week helped per­suade Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump not to aban­don the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, said Wed­nes­day that the ad­min­is­tra­tion would rene­go­ti­ate the pact with Canada and Mex­ico with a fo­cus on what has worked and what hasn’t.

Trump ap­peared to be on the brink of pulling out of the trade agree­ment last week af­ter strongly crit­i­ciz­ing it dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign as a job-killer. But the for­mer Ge­or­gia gover­nor was one of sev­eral top of­fi­cials who helped con­vince him not to do so, point­ing out its ben­e­fits to agri­cul­ture and the po­ten­tially dis­rup­tive ef­fect of an abrupt with­drawal.

“I tried to demon­strate to him that in the agri­cul­tural mar­ket sometimes words like ‘with­draw’ or ‘ter­mi­nate’ can have a ma­jor im­pact on mar­kets,’’ Per­due said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day with The As­so­ci­ated Press. “I think the pres­i­dent made a very wise de­ci­sion for the ben­e­fit of many agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers across the coun­try.’’

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