Vilsack says open dialogues are key to developing trade relationships

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says having an open dialogue with trading partners is key in building a successful relationship.

Vilsack told attendees of the USDA’s recent Ag Outlook Forum that communication helps all sides navigate difficult-to-maneuver situations. “We may not make progress in a particular conversation, but it stimulates thought,” he says.  “It stimulates the idea of how could we do this.  Or how could we get around the difficulties of this particular issue?”

He says trade is a perfect example. “How do we explain to our producers at home that by opening up a market to a competitor’s product, that somehow some way that’s actually going to be a benefit to them,” he says.  “That’s not an easy argument to make to farmers.”

During their panel discussion, Secretary Vilsack and the European Union Ag Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski both shared a similar issue they’ve had when discussing trade with farmers.  “We both have had experiences recently where farmers have gotten up and said, in essence to us, stop the imports,” he says. “But please, let us export. It doesn’t work that way. So that’s the challenge.”

Wojciechowski told attendees the EU is also a proponent of open trade because it is crucial to food security for their nations.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News