What will President-elect Trump do for agriculture?

What will President-elect Trump do for agriculture?

Trump has signaled Bruce Rastetter is leading candidate for agriculture secretary.

The voters have spoken and Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Here's a look at some of his agriculture statements.

What about agriculture? – The American Conservative, Feb. 4, 2016
Agriculture policy may be one of the least talked about issues in the 2016 presidential race. Donald Trump’s positions put him directly in the pocket of Big Ag.

Trump names six U.S. governors as agricultural advisors, Reuters, Aug. 16, 2016
Donald Trump named 64 agricultural policy advisors, including the governors of Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska and former agriculture secretary John Block.

A Republican wave swept the nation and Donald Trump is the president-elect. (Photo: 3dfoto/Thinkstock)

Trump announces Ag Advisory Committee members, FarmFutures, Aug. 17, 2016
In Farm Futures survey, farmers favored Trump 73% to 10%. Charles Herbster is national chairman of committee.

Donald Trump’s Rough Rider, The New York Times, Sept. 12, 2016
Sid Miller is on agriculture advisory committee for Trump and is Texas agriculture commissioner.

Did Christie just help make a Trump cabinet pick?, NJ.com, Aug. 9, 2016
Bruce Rastetter is reported to be a leading candidate to be Trump’s agriculture secretary.

Meet Trump's Cabinet-in-waiting, Politico, Nov. 9, 2016
Trump has a nearly 70 people on his agriculture advisory committee to select from. In addition to Bruce Rastetter, candidates include Texas ag secretary Sid Miller, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman; former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as well as Charles Herbster, Republican donor and agribusiness leader; and Mike McCloskey, a major dairy executive in Indiana.

Before the election, Penton Agriculture posed a series of questions to the candidates. Here are the responses from the president-elect.

Who will be your closest advisors in understanding more about the needs of rural America?

The Trump Administration will be a pro-agriculture administration. As president, I will fight for American farmers and their families. I am proud that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana will be our nation’s next vice president. Mike will be a trusted source of counsel for me on many issues, including agriculture. I have also assembled an Agriculture Advisory Committee comprised of dozens of leaders who represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities. Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day. I’m very proud to stand with these men and women, and look forward to serving with them in serving all Americans from the White House.

Agriculture has an estimated 2 million workers here illegally. How would you ensure the ag sector continues to remain viable and have access to needed workers? And what would be key components of your farm labor immigration policy?

I recognize the unique labor challenges facing the American farm community and will include farmers and ranchers in the process of determining the best possible immigration policies.

Here are my three core principles of real immigration reform:

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Agriculture is very concerned about current costs and negative impact of over-regulation. How would you resolve that concern?

Our nation’s regulatory system is completely broken. Terrible rules are written by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who often know nothing about the people they are regulating. The regulators have all of the power, and our nation’s farmers are often forced to endure costly, burdensome and unwise regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers. In many instances, extreme environmental groups have more influence in setting the regulations than the farmers and ranchers who are directly impacted. Whether through excessive land-use restrictions that impact farmers and ranchers, environmental requirements that impose enormous costs on farmers, or over-reaching food product regulations, federal regulatory burdens have increased dramatically in recent years. This must change.

As president, I will work with Congress to reform our regulatory system. We will reduce the power of government bureaucrats, and increase the freedom of our nation’s farmers to be as productive as possible. We will increase transparency and accountability in the regulatory process. Rational cost-benefit tests will be used to ensure that any regulation is justified before it is adopted. Unjustified regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers will be changed or repealed. There will be no more “sue and settle” deals with extreme environmentalists.

Do you support the current Waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Obama Administration? How do you plan to pursue this going forward?

No. I will eliminate the unconstitutional Waters of the U.S. rule, and will direct the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA to no longer use this unlawful rule and related guidance documents in making jurisdictional determinations. This rule is so extreme that it gives federal agencies control over creeks, small streams, and even puddles or mostly dry areas on private property. I will also ensure that these agencies respect the valid exclusions under environmental statutes for agricultural practices. As importantly, I will appoint a pro-farmer administrator of EPA.

How would your tax plan benefit farmers?

I have announced a comprehensive tax reform plan. Under my plan, we will:

-Simplify taxes for everyone and streamline deductions. Biggest tax reform since Reagan.

-Lower taxes for everyone, making raising a family more affordable for working families.

-Dramatically reduce the income tax.

-Simplify the income tax from 7 brackets to 3 brackets.

-Exclude childcare expenses from taxation.

-Limit taxation of business income to 15% for every business.

-Make our corporate tax globally competitive and the United States the most attractive place to invest in the world.

-End the death tax.

The U.S. Farm Bill will be written during the next presidency. What do you envision being its key components?

The Trump-Pence Administration will be an active participant in writing the next Farm Bill and delivering it on time! Our farmers deserve a good farm bill written by those who are thankful for our remarkable food system in this country. I support a strong safety net for our nation’s farmers.

U.S. agriculture heavily relies on trade. How would you protect agricultural trade while renegotiating trade deals?

As president, I will be an aggressive proponent for defending the economic interests of American workers and farmers on the world stage. I will fight against unfair trade deals and foreign trade practices that disadvantage the United States. I strongly oppose TPP as drafted and will work hard to develop trade agreements that are in the national interest and benefit American workers, including our farmers.

How do you anticipate encouraging policies that allow for protecting the environment while still protecting land owners’ rights and ability to use the land?

America is blessed with abundant natural resources and beautiful wildlife. Our nation has a proud tradition of conservation and stewardship. This is more true for farmers than anyone else. Farmers care more for the environment than the radical environmentalists. Regrettably, many of our federal environmental laws are being used to oppress farmers instead of actually helping the environment. For example, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has a poor track record of actually helping to recover animals at risk of extinction. In truth, the ESA has become a tool to block economic development, deny property rights to American landowners and enrich activist groups and lawyers, without actually helping those species that deserve protection.

As president, I will direct the Interior Department and Commerce Department to conduct a top-down review of all Obama Administration settlements, rules and executive actions under the Endangered Species Act and other similar laws, and we will change or rescind any of those actions that are unlawful, bad for American farmers and workers, or not in the national interest. I will also work closely with Congress to improve and modernize the Endangered Species Act—a law that is now more than 30 years old—so that it is more transparent, uses the best science, incentivizes species conservation, protects private property rights, and no longer imposes needless and unwarranted costs on American landowners.

With regard to property rights, it is also important to mention that I will appoint conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will defend the constitutional rights and protections of all Americans.

Holly Spangler and John Vogel contributed to this content.

TAGS: Farm Policy
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