Biden, Trump, beantwoorden vragen American Farm Bureau

De American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), de grootste boerenledenorganisatie in de VS, stuurt al meer dan 40 jaar in aanloop op de Presidentsverkiezingen een vragenlijst naar beide kandidaten. In de vragenlijst worden zaken aan de orde gebracht die naar alle waarschijnlijkheid gedurende het komende presidentstermijn een impact kunnen hebben op de agrarische sector en plattelandsgemeenschappen.

Ook dit jaar is een vragenlijst gestuurd aan President Trump en de Democratische tegenkandidaat, Joe Biden. Beide kandidaten zijn gevraagd om antwoord te geven op de volgende onderwerpen: Food System Resiliency, Farm Policy Programs, International Trade, Tax Policy, Energy, Regulatory Reforms, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water, Biotechnology, Rural Life and Health, Agricultural Labor en Sustainability and Climate Change.

(De questionnaire en de antwoorden zijn vinden op de website van de AFBF: https://www.fb.org/land/presidential-candidate-questionnaire

De AFBF geeft aan dat de antwoorden letterlijk zijn weergegeven: “The responses have been unedited and are shared with you in the same style that they were provided to us. We are sharing the responses so you can read directly from the candidates on their policy positions and direction for our country.”

Hieronder een worden paar thema’s eruit gelicht met een verkorte weergave van het antwoord per kandidaat:

©AFBF / AFBF

Food System Resiliency

The COVID-19 pandemic awakened many Americans to the realization that stocked grocery shelves should not be taken for granted. Farmers and ranchers experienced enormous losses as the food supply chain adapted to changing demands and pandemic impacts. Agriculture’s role in our national security became much clearer to many. As president, what investments and/or policies would you support to ensure the resiliency of our food system?

Antwoord Biden 

“In this campaign, I’ve proposed a series of plans known as our “Build Back Better” agenda.” “The Biden-Harris Plan to build modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future plans features an investment in sustainable agriculture and conservation.” “We will also help farmers leverage new technologies, techniques, and equipment to increase productivity and profit – including by providing low-cost finance for the transition to new equipment and methods, funding research and development in precision agriculture and new crops, and establishing a new voluntary carbon farming market that rewards farmers for the carbon they sequester on their land and the greenhouse gas emission reductions, including from methane, that they secure. These efforts to partner with farmers will help them tap into new income streams as they tackle the challenge of sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and continue their track record as global leaders in agricultural innovation. Instead of making things harder for farmers, we will stand with them as they fight against the threats of climate change, droughts, flooding and extreme weather, while partnering with them to make American agriculture the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions.”

Antwoord Trump

“Our ag and food value chain is the envy of the world, but faced significant challenges during the COVID outbreak as retail and food service delivery mechanisms were upended almost overnight through the rapid closures our country faced in March.”

  • “On March 19, 2020, the Trump/Pence Administration released its list of designated critical infrastructure that exempted the entire food and agriculture production system from any quarantine or stay at home requirements.”
  • On April 17th, the Trump/Pence Administration announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program which committed up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by market disruptions and committed an additional $3 billion for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.”
  • “On April 28th, the Trump/Pence administration issued an executive order that deployed the Defense Production Act for our meat packing industry. This act made it clear meatpacking plants that met OSHA and CDC guidelines should remain open.”

“The strength of that value chain was bent in ways it never had before, but it never broke, and it has been the privilege of the Trump/Pence Administration to leverage government resources and coordination capabilities to ensure our private sector was able to continue meeting the food needs of all Americans.”

Biden richt zich vooral op innovatie, Trump op ondersteuning van de sector tijdens COVID19.

International Trade

The United States has worked assertively over many different administrations to set the example for fair and open trade, for resolving trade disputes using sound, science-based principles and standards and for gaining access to new markets. As president, how would you be a proponent for expanding trade and pursuing remedies against nations and their leaders who use various barriers to unfairly shield their markets from competition?

Antwoord Biden 

“We will develop a comprehensive strategy to aggressively enforce our laws in an effective way whenever it is needed. Critically, we will also look at what new approaches and tools are needed to combat unfair trade practices… “. “The issues of global overcapacity, foreign state-owned enterprises, and other problems undermine our interests and can’t continue.” “Foreign cheating will not be allowed in our administration.”

“We also will strengthen our agricultural sector by pursuing a trade policy that works for American farmers. More than 20% of all crops grown and products raised in the United States are exported, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and helping to stabilize farm income. But America’s farmers and rural communities have paid a heavy price for President Trump’s tariffs. While Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war without any real strategy, we will stand up to China by working with our allies to negotiate from the strongest possible position.” *Antwoord komt uit Farm Policy Program vraag

Antwoord Trump

 “When President Trump wins a second term, other countries already know he means what he says on trade, and we will continue to see more favorable agreements reached in a second term. There will be more opportunities with China if they decide to take more steps to play by the rules, we will get a bigger deal done with Japan, we are in talks with other major Asian countries. President Trump is also eager to finalize a new U.S.-U.K. Trade agreement that includes significant agriculture access, and hopes that can pave the way for progress with the EU as well, one of the most unfair markets to many of our America farmers.”

Beide kandidaten stellen zich hard op richting buitenlandse handelspartners, de toon waarop de relaties worden onderhouden zal naar verwachting veranderen onder Biden, de inzet waarschijnlijk in mindere mate.

Agricultural Labor

Farmers and ranchers need a reliable, skilled workforce. Farm work is challenging, often seasonal and transitory, and with fewer and fewer Americans growing up on the farm, it’s increasingly difficult to find American workers attracted to these kinds of jobs. Farm labor can’t all be replaced by machines, either. As president, what would you do to reform and resolve the critical labor shortage that many farmers and ranchers face each year? How would you address the issue of undocumented workers who are already working on farms across America, as well as the need for a reformed H-2A program that would help provide a long-term agricultural workforce?

Antwoord Biden

“Farm workers have always been essential to working our farms and feeding our country. A Biden-Harris Administration will provide a path to legalization for agricultural workers who have worked for years on U.S. farms and continue to work in agriculture.” “And we will ensure farm workers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, regardless of immigration status and ensure labor and safety rules, including overtime, humane living conditions, and protection from pesticide and heat exposure, are enforced with respect to these particularly vulnerable working people.”

Antwoord Trump

“President Trump has taken strong actions to deal with the immigration and labor challenges facing our country. The Trump/Pence administration understands the labor shortages facing agriculture and the unique challenges our farmers face. A strong agricultural labor system depends on being able to know who is coming to our country, President Trump began building the wall shortly after being elected in 2016.”

“Immigration reform must secure our borders and also ensure our system works for our economy, including making sure farmers have access to the labor they need. The Trump/Pence Administration is eager to work with Congress to finally deal with all these issues, and we think there will be opportunity to do just that in a second term.”

Beide kandidaten onderstrepen het belang van seizoenswerkers voor de Amerikaanse landbouwsector. Trump benadrukt het belang om illegale werkers buiten de grenzen te houden, Biden benadrukt arbeidsomstandigheden evenals het streven om illegale werkers die al voor een lange tijd in de VS zijn een legale status te geven.

Biotechnoloy

Protecting farmers’ access to modern farming technology, veterinary medications and crop protection tools is important for farmers and ranchers. Our future food security will depend on science, technology and innovation to increase efficiency, adapt to droughts and fight plant diseases. Agricultural biotechnology and other new crop development techniques will prove vital. As president, how would you ensure that new traits are reviewed expeditiously, that USDA’s GMO disclosure rules are focused on science, and that solutions from science and technology are harnessed to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world?

Antwoord Biden

“Undertaking continued investment in innovation and technological advances will allow our farmers and ranchers to remain world leaders in agricultural production, benefitting workers, businesses, consumers, and exporters alike--and our administration commits to supporting the research and technological development necessary to achieve this.”

Antwoord Trump

“The Trump/Pence Administration strongly supports ag biotechnology and the use more broadly of technology in the agriculture and food industry.” “President Trump will continue to make regulatory decisions, including biotechnology approvals based upon the very best available scientific data. President Trump will never regulate farmers based upon some hot trend on social media and he will continue to insist that our trading partners adopt these same rules in order to do business with the U.S.”

Beide kandidaten ondersteunen innovaties en nieuwe technologieën t.b.v. agrarische productie. Trump spreekt zich sterk uit als een voorstander van biotechnologie, deregulering en erkenningen van buitenlandse handelspartners.

Sustainability and Climate Change

Using innovative farm equipment, better seeds, green energy and climate-smart practices, U.S. farmers and ranchers are producing more food, renewable fuel and fiber than ever before, while using less water, protecting against erosion and conserving more soil, avoiding nutrient loss, increasing wildlife habitat and improving biodiversity. Less than 10% of total U.S. GHG emissions stem from agriculture. In fact, efficiency gains are so significant that U.S. agriculture would have needed nearly 100 million more acres in 1990 to match 2018 production levels. At the same time, farmers’ commitment to conservation is clear. More than 140 million acres are enrolled in federal conservation programs, which equals the total land area of California and New York combined. As president, how would you ensure that climate regulations do not hamper American productivity and competitiveness?

Antwoord Biden

“Many farmers are some of the best stewards of our land, air, and water. But climate change poses an existential threat to all of us -- including farmers. We need to combat climate change, but in doing so can create new opportunities and new sorts of revenues for farmers. The government needs to partner with farmers to accelerate progress toward net-zero emissions. We will ensure our agricultural sector is the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and that our farmers earn income as we meet this milestone.” “Toward this end, a Biden-Harris Administration will dramatically expand and fortify the pioneering Conservation Stewardship Program…” “In addition to seeking full federal funding for the program, a Biden-Harris Administration will ensure the program can participate in carbon markets. Corporations, individuals, and foundations interested in promoting greenhouse gas reductions could offset their emissions by contributing to Conservation Stewardship Program payments to farmers for those sequestering carbon — for example, through cover crops.” “Finally, investments in bio-based manufacturing will create new revenue opportunities for farmers and ranchers as they convert ag waste in chemicals, fabrics, fibers, fuels, and other materials.”

Antwoord Trump

“President Trump believes that American farmers are the most sustainable in the world and we should be thanking them rather than thinking of new ways to regulate them. Any new sustainability or climate requirements must be science based and not result in tighter profit margins for farmers. This would hurt beginning and smaller farmers the most.” “The Trump/Pence Administration launched the Ag Innovation Agenda earlier this year with the goal of telling the story of agriculture’s contribution to the economy and the environment, starting to set the benchmarks for how the sector can be a part of solutions, not demonized as the problem.”

Biden komt met een proactive Climate Change agenda, Trump benadrukt deregulering en innovatie.