Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican running for governor, again lent support to President Donald Trump’s efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
In a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, the former congressman said the president’s agenda will create “a more even playing field for America’s farmers, ranchers and businesses.”
“As the U.S. moves into the second round of NAFTA negotiations on September 1, it is imperative that the Administration’s goal to seek a provision to address the plight of the producers of perishable and seasonal commodities be included in any agreement,” Putnam wrote.
On Sunday, Trump repeated in a tweet his threat to cancel the trade deal — which he calls the “worst trade deal ever made” — with Mexico and Canada, even as talks are in the early stages to improve the nearly 25-year-old agreement.
Trump a few minutes earlier tweeted “With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, me must have the wall Mexico will pay for it.”
“We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada.Both being very difficult,may have to terminate?” the president (@realDonaldTrump) tweeted.
“With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other,” another tweet proclaimed.
In April, Putnam sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, pleading with the Trump administration to investigate Mexico for unfair trade practices.
“I urge you to initiate an investigation into Mexico’s unfair trade practices, which have allowed Mexican producers of specialty crops to — in a matter of 20 years — become the dominant supplier of specialty crops into the U.S. market,” Putnam wrote in a letter dated April 19. “These unfair trade practices have resulted in the continued decline of domestic production of these crops, which play such an important role in our diets and ensure the proper nutrition and development of Americans of all ages.”
— By Jim Turner.