New USDA position is intended to boost agricultural trade

FILE PHOTO - Agriculture Secretary Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the Agriculture Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is creating a top post at the department to handle trade and foreign agricultural matters.

The new undersecretary position is a sign of Perdue’s efforts to promote the U.S. agricultural industry at a time when President Donald Trump has tried to undo trade pacts that benefit American farmers.

Perdue is set to make the announcement in Cincinnati on Thursday. He’ll be standing along the Ohio River, where barges filled with grain bound for overseas markets will serve as a backdrop.

The former Georgia governor helped persuade Trump last month not to withdraw from a trade pact with Mexico and Canada. Perdue made the case that withdrawing would be devastating to U.S. farmers. Trump has said he’ll work to renegotiate the deal.


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