(Washington, D.C., July 15, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to modernize the H-2A program to reflect stakeholder concerns and improve access to a legal source of agricultural labor:
You’re running a marathon that everyone said you’d never complete. But despite many obstacles, you kept moving forward, and now the finish line is in sight. You’re feeling good that the work is going to pay off. And then, at the last minute, race officials insert themselves and announce that once you finish, it won’t count for anything. California is at this juncture right now. Following marathon-like efforts and negotiations, Voluntary Agreements on water management are on the verge of completion. However, state officials are now considering legislation, SB1, that would negate all that progress.
On Thursday, May 23rd USDA Secretary Perdue announced that support would continue to assist growers in response to the prolonged trade disruption specifically between the US and China. As the Administration continues to communicate a commitment by promoting reciprocal trade agreements, expanding markets to ensure growers remain competitive, it has authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion that aligns with the estimated impacts of unjustified tariffs on agricultural products.