US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addressed a packed room during the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum, held during the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo.
Secretary Perdue described the domestic poultry industry is a “powerhouse,” as demonstrated by the annual International Production & Processing Expo. ‘’We have to feed billions of people and US agriculture has the means to do that.’’ Perdue iterated that food security equals national security, which gives agriculture a big responsibility. With the immense production of the US, Perdue made clear that trade is of vital importance to the industry too.
However, mentioning the State of the Union speech of president Trump the day before, trade agreements should be strong and balanced. ‘’Our president can be a pretty tough negotiator, but that is part due to the imbalance of current trade agreements’’, Perdue said. ‘’We cannot allow free trade, when we are banned from some markets to some extent on some non-specific reason.’’ He continued: ‘’We have to push back in some instances.’’
As an example the Secretary pointed towards the everlasting discussion on chlorinated chicken with the EU. ‘’This practice is becoming less common in the US, but we are still pressed on that. Sometimes I will ask back to the Europeans; ‘do you know where you wash your salads in?’’
During his address, he also spoke about topics that included infrastructure, tax reform, biosecurity, regulation, trade and collaboration. Secretary Perdue commented that he liked the creativity and innovation of the poultry industry and thanked universities, research teams and APHIS, as they are partners in the process to help the poultry industry be more productive and profitable. “Work must be based on sound science and not on political decisions,” stated Secretary Perdue.