'A good opportunity'

IFB President talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during Indiana farm visit.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr., second from right, listens to Vice President Mike Pence, center, during an Indiana farm visit yesterday. Guebert and Indiana Farm Bureau leaders, including President Randy Kron, second from left, urged Pence to resolve tariff disputes, restore trade agreements and reform immigration rules. Pence promoted passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (Photos courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau)

By Rachel Torbert

For Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr., his third meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was again an opportunity to not only thank the administration for its support of farmers, but also urge the president and lawmakers to get the job done when it comes to trade.

“The vice president wanted to talk about USMCA and trade,” Guebert said in an interview with RFD Radio Network. “We shared our thoughts and opinions and thanked him for what the administration is doing – and encouraged him to keep going but said that we need to get (trade deals) done.”

Guebert was invited to the event, held near Lebanon, Ind., April 4, by Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. About 25 Indiana farmers were in attendance, as well as Indiana Farm Bureau staff and media.

During small group meetings, then a private meeting with the full group, Pence gave status updates on USMCA and U.S.-China trade deals and talked about Section 232 tariffs as well as immigration and border issues.  

“We’ve heard comments from Canada and Mexico that they’re not going to ratify (the USMCA) until Section 232 tariffs are lifted, and those negotiations are going on as we speak,” Guebert said. “(Vice President Pence) understood, wholeheartedly, how important this USMCA agreement is, not only to agriculture, but to all of the U.S. economy.”

Guebert added Pence reiterated negotiations with China are progressing, but it will take time to get a final deal in place and mentioned the administration’s work to negotiate trade deals with other countries, including Japan and the European Union.

“He said (a Chinese agreement) is not going to be a quick fix, but we’re getting close and hopefully will have an announcement very soon,” Guebert said. “He said they’re going to move on and are having conversations with Japan and the EU, and he honestly believes that when this is all said and done, hopefully sooner than later, this will be really good for U.S. agriculture and the U.S. economy.”

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.