Feed Bites

Final Countdown to the Election – Still on the Fence?

Written by: Leah Wilkinson   |   October 27, 2020

Advocacy

With only a week left to go, both candidates are desperately vying for your vote. Early estimates show that more than 60 million Americans have already cast their votes, surpassing all 2016 early ballots submitted, and yet still, more people are waiting in socially distant lines to vote in-person early or are expected to turn out on Election Day.

If you have already voted – kudos to you for participating in your civic duty! If you are still on the fence, here is some more information. AFIA leadership  recently spoke to both campaigns about their positions on issues of importance to our industry. Below is a quick summary on how the two presidential candidates – Republican nominee President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden – are expected to handle these issues and/or links to their platforms where you can learn more. 

Topic

AFIA’s Ask

Trump (R)

Biden (D)

Trade and market access

Seek new or continued commitments to free trade agreements with the U.K., Kenya, Japan and India.

Favors bilateral agreements and has made some progress, including agriculture in a U.K. agreement and movement on Japan in recent months.

Looking to “fix” relationships with key trading partners, such as pursuing some form of the 11-party Trans Pacific Partnership, from which the U.S. withdrew during Trump’s time in office.

China phase one implementation

Have the U.S. Trade Representative remain committed to achieve implementation and strive for the removal of tariffs as an enforcement mechanism.

Continue to support tariffs and other economic sanctions against China for incompliance with phase one agreements.

Would work with allies to put pressure on China without the use of tariffs, with the goal of getting the country to purchase more agricultural products.

Participation in World Trade Organization

Support U.S. membership in the WTO and necessary reforms.

Threatened to withdraw from the WTO and pushing reforms.

Supports the WTO and U.S. involvement.

COVID-19 relief and liability protections

Support legislation that provides for continued, long-term growth of the agriculture sector and provides economic stability to businesses. Also support bills that limit frivolous legal action against employers acting in good faith to continue essential business while protecting employee health and safety.

Supported agriculture and the food industry by designating it as an essential business, provided the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and school meal program flexibilities. Is managing Operation Warp Speed on vaccine development.

The Biden plan aims to provide financial support to those economically harmed by the crisis, both at worker level and for businesses, as well as promote access to care. Read more here.

Infrastructure and transportation

Support improved efficiencies, sustainability and access to reliable transportation and labor for moving goods throughout the supply chain.

Continue to leverage government resources and coordination capabilities to ensure the private sector is able to continue meeting the food needs of all Americans.

Outlined Build Back Better (BBB) plan, which is an economic recovery plan that spans many issues, including support for new jobs and investments in rural infrastructure from bridges to broadband.

Rural competitiveness and connectivity

Support rural broadband access and infrastructure investment.

Looks to continue providing more money to improve infrastructure throughout rural America.

Addresses in BBB plan (see above).

Climate change

Support science- and incentive-based sustainability initiatives and regulatory modernization to facilitate development of innovative solutions.

Rolled out the Ag Innovation Agenda to tell the story of agriculture’s contribution to the economy and the environment and starting to set the benchmarks for how the sector can be a part of the solution, not demonized as the problem. Any new sustainability or climate requirements must be science-based and not result in tighter profit margins for farmers.

Views industry as partner in being a climate change solution.

Regulatory harmonization

Seek modern approach to allow animal food ingredient manufacturers to compete in the global animal food market. Also looks to reduce duplicative and unnecessary regulatory recordkeeping requirements.

Looking to deregulate at federal agencies, particularly at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and streamline cross-departmental issues.

Wants to work to ensure regulations are doing what they are intended to do, the market is competitive, workers are safe and information is secure.

 

For more information on each candidate’s positions regarding agriculture, see these resources from the American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Progress.

 

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