Trade deals will have ‘ripple effect’ on Texas farmers, says Agriculture Commissioner


AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas farmers stand to gain from the country’s trade deals with China, Canada and Mexico, according to Sid Miller, the state’s agriculture commissioner.

The agreement with China stipulates that country will buy between $40-$50 billion in agriculture commodities, which is almost double the $24 billion America sold China in 2017, Miller said.

“Texas beef will start rolling to China,” Miller said. “Any day now.”

President Donald Trump signed “Phase One” of an eight-part deal with China on Wednesday. The U.S. Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) out of its chamber and to the President’s desk on Thursday.

Trump indicated he would sign it.

“We’re going to get our wheat into Canada now, our milk products, dairy products, wine,” Miller said Thursday. “You’ve got back to back home runs for agriculture.”

Asked about the impact on Texas farmers, Miller said the USMCA deal opens the door for a boost in prices for producers as markets grow.

“With increased markets, it becomes increased prices,” he explained. “So commodity prices will rise, with that, profits rise. With that, all boats, you know, floating higher.”

“That means tractor purchases, that means land purchases, that means input purchases, that means, you know, everything in rural America will benefit from this. So it’s huge — has a ripple effect,” Miller continued.

Asked about whether an increase in prices for goods might trickle to the consumer, Miller said “not necessarily.”

“Like a loaf of bread, it might put one or two pennies extra in the cost of the wheat that goes in loaf of bread,” he stated. “So most of that cost is negligible to the American consumer. Probably not — won’t see any.”

Miller and Trump will both speak at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in Austin on Sunday. Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is slated to join them, Miller said.

Watch Wes Rapaport’s full interview with Commissioner Miller Sunday on “State of Texas.”

John Thomas contributed to this report.

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