Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam visited Port Manatee to take a tour of the Import facility. He called the port a key economic driver of the sunshine state, and he also voiced support for President Donald Trump’s move to renegotiate the North American Trade Agreement.
Putnam commented that he’s “very supportive of what President Trump’s doing to hold our trading partners’ feet to the fire on enforcing trade agreements. If you look at the shrinkage in the tomato industry in Florida right here in the Ruskin and Palmetto area, you can attribute much of that to a bad deal written through NAFTA.”
He added that “We’re bringing in a billion dollars worth of bananas. That’s good for Florida’s consumers, and it doesn’t affect Florida farmers one iota. You want an agreement that makes the most of every country’s competitive advantage.”
Putnam then detailed that “Our competitive advantage is in citrus. Costa Rica’s is in bananas. You can have vibrant profitable trade that is good for Florida farmers and Florida ports if you negotiate the right deal, and I’m proud of what the president’s doing to try to get us a better deal.”
President Donald Trump endorsed Putnam’s opponent, Ron DeSantis, for Governor, and this is an election meant to test the state’s approval of Trump’s job in office so far. So, it’ll be interesting to see how both candidates align themselves with the President while on the campaign trail.