Wednesday, November 09, 2016

How will a Trump presidency impact agriculture? Less regulation, but questions on trade

"Donald Trump’s stunning victory on Tuesday, combined with a Congress that will stay in Republican hands, ensures that farms and energy producers will win relief from federal regulations, but the election outcome also throws the future of U.S. trade policy into doubt," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse. "Trump’s campaign was based on rolling up big margins in rural regions of Ohio, Iowa and other battleground states, and he did that in part by pounding the Obama administration over regulations and trade."

"Republicans also won the House and retained control of the Senate," Brasher writes. "Trump has pledged to kill the Obama administration’s 'waters of the United States' rule and the greenhouse-gas regulations on electric utilities. Both rules have been put on hold by the courts, but Trump’s victory virtually ensures that they will be killed."

"The Obama administration’s pesticide and labor regulations also are likely to be targeted as well," Brasher writes. "A Trump administration also is likely to slow down endangered species protections that have frustrated farmers, ranchers and energy producers."

"A bigger question is what happens to trade and immigration policy," Brasher writes. "The future of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership looks grim. Trump made opposition to the TPP a major focus of his campaign and he pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been a major benefit to U.S. agricultural exports. Trump also has threatened to impose tariffs on China, a major market for U.S. soybeans and other farm products."

"Trump has backed off his threat to deport all illegal immigrants, saying that he would focus enforcement actions on criminal aliens," Brasher writes. "His advisers say he will streamline the H-2A visa program to make it easier for farms to import the labor that they need."

"Farmers nationwide overwhelmingly favored Trump over Clinton, 55 percent to 18 percent, according to the Agri-Pulse Farm and Ranch Poll taken last month," Brasher writes. "More than 70 percent said that regulatory policies were on the wrong track, and 86 percent said they were 'somewhat' or 'very dissatisfied' with the way things are going in the country."

Agri-Pulse is subscription only, but can be viewed by clicking here.

1 comment:

farmfoodguy said...

This blog leaves out the whole question which is always central to US and global farmers: will farmers be paid fairly. (http://agpolicy.org/weekcol/248.html ) Trade, as described here, avoids that question. Farmers have long opposed free trade because it helps lower farm prices below full costs, which has happened with NAFTA, (contrary to Fraser's claims here). The data clearly show that we've been exporting at a loss, almost always vs full costs,) for decades, and the recent exception for 7 years for only 3 major crops, (corn, soybeans and rice,) doesn't make up for it. The projections are for similar cheap prices, with net farm income cut about in half, for 10 years, and with farm subsidies cut in half at the same time. (CBO https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/recurringdata/51317-2016-03-usda.pdf) The Trump/Republican trifecta farm bill is destined to be a massive failure that is spun as great for farmers and Rural America. There's really no way, (given the politics of Republicanism,) that it won't be much worse.