Crawford talks trade, discussion of Agriculture Secretary position

Crawford talks trade, discussion of Agriculture Secretary position

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - U.S. Representative Rick Crawford, said this week that someone who understands southern Agriculture should serve as Secretary of Agriculture in a Trump administration.

He was also asked if he would be the person to fill that role.

Talk Business and Politics recently spoke to Crawford on the trade issue as well as reports that he may be under consideration to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

As for who should serve, Crawford said the person must understand a variety of issues before considering the job.

"Here's what my concern is: I hope that whoever that individual is has a good understanding of the vital role of agriculture in this country," he said. "There's a national security imperative, there is a rural broadband initiative that's got to be completed, there's a whole lot of things that come to bear (with) economic development in rural communities. We've been chasing smokestacks for years trying to improve the quality of life in rural America; we need to understand that that's not necessarily the best way to go about it. Whoever that individual is I hope understands that and has a real ability to communicate with the folks who live and work in rural America. Obviously, I have a geographic concern because I live in the South, the mid-South, and I want to see a southern perspective at the table as a counterweight to what has been somewhat of a Midwest monopoly when it comes to ag policy."

When asked about the selection, Crawford acknowledged the discussion over whether or not he would be selected. If Crawford were picked for the post, a special election would be held to fill the vacancy in the 435-member House.

"There has been some talk about that but really too early to tell," Crawford said. "I know this has been a long, drawn-out process, but typically an Ag Secretary is one of the last to be named. So if we're looking at schedules, the President-elect is on schedule. Let's just see what happens over the next few days."

Crawford said he supports Richard Lighthizer, who was selected as U.S. Trade Representative.

"We use free trade and fair trade interchangeably," Crawford told Talk Business and Politics. "I think if we do anything going forward, we have to understand that fair trade and free trade are not necessarily the same thing. This pick gets that."

The entire interview will air Sunday at 10 a.m. on NBC Region 8.

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