SALEM, Ohio — In less than two weeks, Americans will decide the next leader of our nation and bring to an end one of the most historic and beleaguered presidential campaigns in American history. It features businessman and TV personality Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, and former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Both candidates have traded jabs over the issues of job creation, the economy, civil rights, national defense, and, of course, each other’s character.
Since the new leader will have significant influence over farm policy, we felt it necessary to take a look at their position on issues that matter to farmers and rural America. These position statements were adopted from surveys conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, campaign websites and The Associated Press.
Farm and Dairy does not endorse a particular candidate, and encourages a thorough review of each candidate’s position, by visiting each candidate’s website.
Trump: Plans to be an “active participant” in writing the next farm bill, and also “delivering it on time.” Supports a strong safety net for farmers and believes his Agriculture Advisory Committee represents ag issues across the country and in local communities.
Clinton: Says the farm bill presents “an incredibly important opportunity” to set both ag and rural development policy priorities, which are central to the nation’s economy, energy and food security.
Believes in a “focused safety net” for farmers and ranchers by targeting federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs.
Biotechnology and GMO approval
Trump: “I support the use of technology in food production, which has enabled American farmers to increase yields to levels never before experienced in the history of the world. Through innovation, American farmers are producing crops more resilient to drought, heat, and pests. Government should not block positive technological advancements in agriculture. Agency reviews need to be streamlined with all unnecessary red-tape cut out.”
Clinton: “Our goal should be to find policy solutions that are grounded in science and respect consumers.” She supports a national solution to the GMO labeling question, “one that provides consistency to food companies and consumers” across state lines. She supports the bipartisan work that has already been done on this issue.
Trump: Is intent on cutting taxes. He’d collapse the current seven income tax brackets, which peak at 39.6 percent, into three tiers with a top rate of 33 percent, slice the corporate income tax and eliminate the estate tax.
Clinton: Is proposing tax increases on the rich, including a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes over $1 million and higher taxes on big inheritances. Most taxpayers would see little or no impact on their tax bill, but the government might look different.
Food safety, food security and food choice
Trump: Plans to be a “pro-agriculture Administration.” As president, he intends to “fight for American farmers and their families.” Says that through hard work, persistence and innovation, and making wise use of our nation’s God-given lands and resources, American farmers are the best in the world at what they do. Says that growing the farm sector and supporting the nation’s farmers are “critical steps to making America great again.”
He opposes “unwarranted government mandates” that hurt farmers and confuse consumers, such as mandatory biotech labeling. He plans to fight for tax reform that reduces tax burdens on American farmers, and end the death tax.
Clinton: Says that the “ingenuity of America’s farmers and ranchers” has provided consumers across the world with access to better, safer, and a wider variety of food options than ever before. She believes that supporting that ingenuity goes hand in hand with ensuring food quality and safety.
She wants to increase the investment in basic and applied research that makes agricultural advancements possible. She will also fight to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers of all sizes have the tools they need to succeed. Specifically, that means expanding access to capital; investing in rural transportation, water, and broadband infrastructure; and continuing to make progress in targeting federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs.
Immigration reform and ag labor
Trump: Says he recognizes the labor challenges that farmers face and vows to include farmers in setting new policy. He says open borders are “wreaking havoc” on our rural communities, and putting stress on state and local government services. He offers a three-prong solution that involves building a wall across the southern border, enforcing constitutional laws, and developing an immigration plan that improves jobs, wages and security for Americans.
Clinton: Plans to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway “to full and equal citizenship” within the first 100 days in office. Her plan seeks to fix the family visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect the borders and national security, and “bring millions of hard-working people into the formal economy.”
She says that reform is necessary for both farm owners and farm employees, and to ensure American farmers can continue to provide affordable, fresh foods.
Trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Trump: Plans to defend the economic interests of American workers and farmers on the world stage. Vows to fight against “unfair trade deals and foreign trade practices that disadvantage the U.S.” On TPP: “I strongly oppose TPP as drafted.”
Clinton: Plans to crack down on “foreign countries who cheat the rules” by appointing a new trade prosecutor. She has also established a plan to “stop rewarding U.S. companies for moving jobs overseas.” On TPP: Believes any trade deal must create American jobs, raise wages and improve our national security. Opposes TPP because of concerns over currency manipulation and pharmaceuticals, and a “rules of origin” standard on automobiles.
Energy and farm-grown fuels
Trump: Wants to implement an “America-First Energy Plan” that enables the U.S. to become the world’s leader in energy production and gets the government out of the way of innovation. Plans to restore the role of U.S. coal, rescind President Obama’s executive actions and regulations on energy, including the Climate Action Plan and Waters of the U.S. rule, and lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas. He also supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, and wants to ensure affordable, reliable energy from all major sources, including farm-grown fuels like ethanol.
Clinton: Recognizes the “critical role” that farm communities play in energy production, including wind farms. Vows to continue the progress, by launching a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to “forge new federal partnerships with states, cities and rural communities,” to provide options to cut emissions and expand clean energy.
Vows to ensure the federal government “is a partner, not an obstacle” in getting low-cost renewable energy from rural places, to the rest of the country. She will defend the Clean Power Plan, and investments in advanced biofuels research, as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Trump: Plans to appoint a “pro-farmer administrator of EPA” and then eliminate the “unconstitutional Waters of the U.S. rule,” which he says was unlawfully used in making jurisdictional decisions about which waters are federally regulated. He says he will also ensure federal agencies respect exclusions to farmers found in environmental statutes for agricultural practices. He plans to ensure clean water for all Americans by working with states, to achieve “shared, common-sense environmental goals.”
Clinton: Says the Clean Water Act, under which Waters of the U.S. falls, is one of the “most successful environmental regulations, helping fulfill the basic right of all Americans” to access clean water. She plans to defend safe water for everyone, while also maintaining “long-standing exemptions for common farming practices,” and to continue pushing for more clarity within the law.
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