Tester, Daines support new US Agriculture Secretary appointment

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Parson pointed out that President Trump signed an executive order last Tuesday calling for a special task force to identify obstacles for agriculture growth, including trade and immigration.

The president also used the meeting as an opportunity to weigh in on a recent trade dispute between Wisconsin dairy farmers and Canada.

President Trump told the group, which included a few produce growers, that he is most concerned about the criminal element of illegal immigrants in the U.S., Perdue said, not about long-time immigrants working on U.S. farms and ranches. Perdue eventually said he would step down from several companies bearing his name to avoid conflicts of interest. "Secretary Perdue's experience as an exporter and governor leading trade missions will be invaluable as this administration pursues trade policy".

With Perdues confirmation, the last two Trump cabinet-level nominees awaiting Senate confirmation are Alexander Acosta for labor secretary and Robert Lighthizer for US trade representative.

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"He believes there are things that need to be redone, retooled, any trade agreement this old". While he waited, Trump announced a budget that will cut some 20 percent from USDA's $140 billion budget, including cuts to water programs, the agency's statistical services and foreign food aid.

"Secretary Perdue and I share a common background having been raised on a family farm, running our own small businesses, and serving our country in the military", Parson said. "I think as he comes up to his first 100 days in office, I think people can say he is keeping his campaign promises".

Kansas is one of the few states that already enforces a strict work requirement for the program, a policy it adopted under Gov. Sam Brownback, who had been considered as a candidate for Perdue's job.

"He understands that there are long-term immigrants, sometimes undocumented immigrant laborers, out here on the farms, many of them that are doing a great job, contributing to the economy of the United States", Perdue says. "We have to get this deficit under control and we don't want to do it all on the backs of USDA, everyone needs to give some". "When you're talking about $3 billion in soybean exports a year, any threats to withdraw from agreements and walk away from markets makes farmers extremely nervous". "After providing immediate relief, I urge you to provide long-term flexibility and certainty for our schools, our school foodservice directors, and other stakeholders". "It's my pleasure.' Do it with a smile, do it with quality".