Trade, Environmental Regulations- Ag Interests in Trump Administration

Chicago Tribune writer Greg Trotter reported yesterday that, “Some food industry titans worry President-elect Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade could eventually hurt business in numerous ways, including limiting food and agriculture exports.

“Others in agriculture see Trump’s election as an opportunity to improve the viability of family farming.

“In other words, anticipation of Trump’s policy actions is prompting the same type of anxiety and hope found elsewhere throughout the American economy. In an interview at a Chicago event organized by the nonprofit Food Tank, Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan said he hoped Trump’s pick for secretary of agriculture would carry forward the same pro-trade policies of outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.”

Mr. Trotter noted that, “Kenneth Quinn, president of the Iowa-based World Food Prize Foundation, said agriculture has long served to bridge disagreements between political parties and nations. Quinn said he hoped the next agriculture secretary can carry that torch.

But he also acknowledged unknowns regarding Trump’s campaign promises to ease environmental regulations on farmers.

“‘I think people are still going to be concerned about water, and nitrate runoff is a big issue in Iowa. And the question is, how do you work it out?’ Quinn said. ‘The (Environmental Protection Agency) had a very forward-leaning role, maybe now that won’t be quite the same way. But I think there will still be that focus. The environmental issues, they can’t go away.'”

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