U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says the Trump administration won’t allow American farmers to be pawns in a trade war with China.
This week, China imposed a 25% tariff on U.S. pork and 15% on certain fruits, including apples. Michigan exports a substantial amount of both commodities.
Speaking at Michigan State University, Secretary Perdue said he shares the anxieties of farmers. He said the administration is planning its next move, but declined to give details.
“At the proper time, we will let China know they will not be able to affect our agricultural policies and our political decisions over trade by virtue of their holding agriculture hostage,” Perdue said.
Perdue says tensions over trade should ease once the U.S. completes a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The White House is hoping to announce a preliminary deal next week.