U.S. ag groups voice priorities to presidential candidates

U.S. ag groups voice priorities to presidential candidates
Aug 23, 2023

New market access needs to be front and center, the groups say

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The next U.S. presidential election isn’t until November 2024, but ahead of the first debate between Republican candidates on Wednesday night, the ag industry wants presidential hopefuls on both sides of the aisle to know what the sector needs from the next president.

An Aug. 21 letter signed by multiple industry groups suggests the United States needs to open new markets and reduce its dependency on China.

Market diversification helps with risk mitigation for U.S. farm goods. Opening new markets and growing existing markets for agriculture decreases a reliance upon the Chinese market,” the letter says.

About 20 industry organizations signed onto the document, including the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Producers Association and Farmers for Free Trade.

Entering new trade agreements is another important item for U.S. ag.

It’s been over 10 years since the U.S. entered a new trade deal, the letter says, citing that during this time, multiple countries have signed onto trade agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The U.S. and Taiwan did begin trade talks in June 2022, and in May 2023 agreed to the first part of an agreement.

When it comes to the U.S. and its relationship with China, ag groups are insisting the next president holds China accountable for its actions while also maintaining market access for agriculture.

The industry is still feeling the effects of the trade war between the U.S. and China from a few years ago.

“When relations between our two countries turn sour, those exports can be disrupted,” the letter reads. “The tariffs and retaliatory tariffs put in place in 2018 and 2019 are still impacting U.S. farmers and food processers and impeding efforts to regain access to this critically important market.”

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