February 21, 2019 / 2:38 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. Agriculture Secretary says hopes U.S. will ratify new North American trade deal by summer

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during an event hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump with workers on "Cutting the Red Tape, Unleashing Economic Freedom" in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that he hopes the United States will ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal known as USMCA by summer, after Congress has a chance to understand the accord’s provisions.

“I would hope, certainly... I am always optimistic... by summer,” he said at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual forum in response to a question about when USMCA would be ratified. “It’s never over till it’s over, with any legislation.”

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Julie Ingerswen; Writing by Richard Valdmanis

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