Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue outlined his support for the Renewable Fuel Standard and the future of NAFT during his first major farm policy address Friday in Nevada, Iowa according to the Des Moines Register. The former Georgia governor spent time with farmers on Friday and discussed the Trump administration’s desire to see NAFTA re-negotiated to better benefit American workers.
“We’re not talking years long, but weeks and months,” Purdue told reporters at the event. He specifically mentioned how NAFTA wasn’t working for American manufacturers. “We’ve got to balance that out so the American economy can thrive across the spectrum.”
Iowa farmers have a vested interest in watching any NAFTA re-negotiations, Canada and Mexico are the states two largest trade partners, reports the Des Moines Register. Together, the countries accounted for $5.7 billion in exports from Iowa last year, almost half of the total $12.1 billion exported globally from the state in 2016.
Purdue also reiterated the administration’s support for the Renewable Fuel Standard requiring ethanol and biodiesel to be combined into fuel and cellulosic ethanol made from various plant materials.
President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Craig Hill told the Des Moines Register that he expects Purdue will advocate for modernizing NAFTA.
“Everything that we do here in Iowa needs to find a home, and a lot of that’s going to be outside of our borders — every bushel, every pig, every cow,” said Hill.