Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What impact will a Clinton or Trump presidency have on agriculture?

What impact would Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have on agriculture if elected? One strength for Clinton is her close ties with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, says Marshall Matz, who specializes in agriculture law and was counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee and chairman of the Obama for President Agriculture Committee in 2008, in a column for Agri-Pulse.

Clinton, who has said her agenda is "very much in line" with what Vilsack did in Iowa as governor, said, "We have to stand with our farmers, give them the tools and support they need to boost both production and profits," Matz writes. "Recognizing that the vast majority of Americans who live in rural America don't farm, or rely on second jobs," she "has made a strong commitment to the broader needs or rural America." Clinton also has put "emphasis on clean energy jobs, broadband, high speed Internet, health care and rural education."

The Trump campaign has focused on regulations that it says are hurting farmers. Doug Keesling, a member of the Trump agriculture advisory committee, writes for Agri-Pulse, "Regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, often are drawn up with little regard for their effect on U.S. agriculture, or for farmers' ability to feed the world's growing population. Tax regulations-such as those that cover the inheritance of estates-can have costly consequences that prevent farms from being passed on intact from generation to generation."

"And a growing body of unfair trade restrictions and one-sided trade pacts continue to hinder the international flow of U.S. agricultural products that often account for our largest exports to many foreign countries," he writes. "Companies that ship to several states also have to deal with state labeling issues with conflicting states laws. Rising labor costs have cut into farmers profits in an industry that relies heavily on manual labor to plant and harvest crops."

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