Decision 2016: Agricultural Issues

Written by Jackie Klippenstein
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As the election nears, understanding the candidates’ views on issues critical to the growth of the dairy industry is important. Some issues have been very well discussed in the public forum, like both candidates’ current opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, while others are less known. During the campaign season, different associations and media outlets have asked candidates’ their views on issues. The following are excerpts from their responses on the issues the Cooperative tracks on your behalf. Some of these responses are made on behalf of the candidate, by their campaign.

Regulatory reform

Trump response: “Our nation's regulatory system is completely broken. 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 Unjustified regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers will be changed or repealed.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."

Clinton response: "Hillary is committed to operating the U.S. government in as open and transparent a way as possible. She will continue and expand the open-government initiatives started by the current administration and will direct federal agencies to increase the amount of information they voluntarily disclose online. As president, she will always engage a wide range of stakeholders, including farmers and ranchers, to hear their concerns and ideas for how we can ensure our agriculture sector remains vibrant. If there are implementation challenges with a particular regulation, Hillary will work with all stakeholders to address them." 

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation Candidate survey

Minimum wage

Trump response: “I support a $10 federal minimum and letting states raising it beyond that floor.”

Source: July 2016 Trump Press Conference

Clinton response: “I want to raise the federal minimum wage to $12, and encourage other communities to go even higher.”


Farm Bill

Trump response: "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.”  

Clinton response: "The Farm Bill's reauthorization presents an incredibly important opportunity to set both our agricultural and rural development policy priorities, which are central to our economy, energy and food security.  
“That's why [Clinton] will work to ensure we provide a focused safety net for farmers and ranchers by continuing to make progress in targeting federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs, which is all the more important with current commodity market prices.”

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation candidate survey


Trump response: “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 response: "Our goal should be to find policy solutions that are grounded in science and respect consumers. Hillary understands the need for a national solution to the GMO labeling question — one that provides consistency to food companies and consumers across state lines. And she is glad Republicans and Democrats have worked together to build a bipartisan solution to this issue." 

Source: Capital Press


Trump response:
1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one 
2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country
3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets
4. End sanctuary cities
5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced — we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country
6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place
7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported
8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air and sea ports
9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the United States illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants
10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms


Clinton response:
1. Introduce comprehensive immigration reform
2. End the three- and 10-year bars. The three- and 10-year bars force families — especially those whose members have different citizenship or immigration statuses — to remain in the shadows, or pursue a green card by leaving the country and loved ones behind
3. Defend President Obama’s executive actions — known as DACA and DAPA — against partisan attacks
4. Do everything possible under the law to protect families 
5. Enforce immigration laws humanely
6. End family detention and close private immigration detention centers
7. Expand access to affordable health care to all families
8. Promote naturalization
9. Support immigrant integration. Hillary will create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations, and significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.


Climate Change

Trump response: “I’m not a big believer in manmade climate change. There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact … I would say that it goes up, it goes down, and I think it’s very much like this over the years. We’ll see what happens. I mean, we’ll see what happens. Maybe you and I – even you, as young as you are – you won’t be around to see. But certainly, climate has changed. You know, they used to call it global warming. They’ve had many different – they call it extreme weather. They always change the name to encapsulate everything. The problem we have is our businesses are suffering. Our businesses are unable to compete in this country because other countries aren’t being forced to do what our businesses are being forced to do and it makes us noncompetitive, which is something that I feel very strongly about. And I feel that it puts at a great economic disadvantage for jobs and other things.”

Source: Miami Herald, August 11, 2016

Clinton response: “Climate change is one of the most serious challenges we face. It’s real, it’s driven by human activity, and it’s happening now. We need to use every tool we have to combat climate change and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future. We can’t wait any longer — and we definitely can’t wait for Congress to pass new legislation. That’s why I’ve set bold national goals for fighting climate change. And on my very first day in office, I’ll get to work achieving them.”

Source: Hillary Clinton, "What Is Hillary Clinton's Plan to Tackle Climate Change?,", May 18, 2016