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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue discussed the need for a free and fair trade.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Fox News on Wednesday that President Trump-duties on imports from the PRC, the European Union and other Nations “is a bit like weight loss … it’s kind of painful to start with, but they are healthier in the end.”
However, Perdue also recognized the “legitimate concern about the rates and the pain that you’ve caused.”
Our country was on the tariffs and the tariffs are now leading us to great new trade agreements – in contrast to the terrible and unjust trade agreements, which I inherited as President. Other countries should not be allowed to be, and Not steal the wealth of our great U. S. A.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2018
The Secretary spoke to Fox News as a series of 10-percent duties on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods due to take effect Aug. 23. The proposed tariffs for more than 6,000 product lines, including fish, tobacco, and components, used in products such as car rear view mirror and intruder alarm systems. Beijing has responded by threatening new tariffs of 5 to 25 percent, to about 5,000 U.S. products.
Last month, the Trump administration’s proposed 25 percent tax on $34 billion in Chinese imports, most of them industrial goods, that U.S. officials said, subsidies and other unfair support from Beijing. China quickly responded with the imposition of duties on $ 34 billion in U.S. products.
“China has not played by the rules for years, and we have allowed us, for you year after year to get away with that,” Perdue told Fox News. “And frankly, we have barriers in the entire world, not only in China, but also in the European Union. If we lose our farmers in America, the private market would.”
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Earlier this year, the trump administration levied a 25-percent tariff on steel imports from the European Union, as well as a 10-percent tariff on aluminum. Brussels responded with tariffs on a range of U.S. goods. In July, Trump announced that the EU agreed to increase, soybean and natural gas imports from the United States, while the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker promised that more steel and aluminum tariffs would be put on hold and existing rates on the test set.
President Trump has shown no signs of stopping the use of tariffs as an economic weapon. On Wednesday morning, he tweeted: “Our country was built, are the tariffs and the tariffs leads us to great new trade agreements – in contrast to the terrible and unjust trade agreements, which I have inherited as your President now.”
Trump has also been dealing tried, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. On Friday, the Trump rates have not tweeted that a trade deal with Mexico, “progressing well,” but threatened Canada with a car, if Washington and Ottawa, to forge an agreement.
Deal with Mexico, is progressing well. Autoworkers and farmers to take care of, or there is no deal. The new President of Mexico, was an absolute gentleman. Canada will have to wait. Their tariffs and trade barriers are much too high. Will tax cars, if we don’t make a deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
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“President trump has to say ‘enough is enough. If you want to free up the trade, we have fair trade,'” Perdue said. “And that is the ultimate goal … – to-say – to bring our friends like Mexico and Canada, — [to] them on the table and say, ‘You know, it inclined here is somehow, let’s get this playing field level and allow you to compete with our producers competitive with her and we will be fine.'”
The escalating trade war has rattled nerves to farmers in California, where the European Union, Canada and China are the three largest export markets for agricultural goods. Perdue, who was affected in California this week to tour areas devastated by forest fires in The “Golden State”, told Fox News that farmers “will know that President Trump strategy [is] to have it better in the end.”
“The farmers get. You are patriots. You don’t understand, if someone is playing according to the rules,” Perdue said. “We have the Boy Scouts International on the area of in trade and we have played by the rules, and President of the Trump trying to make sure that in this game of international trade with other games according to the rules.”
Fox News’ Lee Ross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.