Trump would stop TPP |

Trump would stop TPP

Donald Trump announced the creation of an agricultural advisory committee of more than 60 individuals ranging from farmer/rancher state legislators to former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture to governors in farm states to the daughter of the Texas King Ranch patriarch.

The governors of South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska all made the list, along with the CEO of California’s Ironstone Vineyards, a cotton grower, a large dairy farmer – even Red Steagall – Official Cowboy Poet of Texas, made the cut.

“The formation of the board represents Donald J. Trump’s endorsement of these individuals’ diverse skill sets and ideas that can improve the lives of those in agricultural communities,” said news release from the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign, Aug. 16.

Several members of the committee are state legislators who farm and/or ranch full time. North Dakota farmer Mike Brandenburg, said the Trump campaign may have chosen some of the state legislators from a list of those who attended a rural leadership event recently in Denver.

A conference call has allowed members to visit and begin conversations about the agricultural issues important to their respective regions.

“Trump is not in favor of the TPP,” said the Edgely, North Dakota, man, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a huge multi-lateral trade deal supported by the Obama administration but not approved by Congress.

“These countries can grow their own products a lot cheaper, and that puts us at an unfair position. They are dealing with electronics and things like that and giving up too much on the ag side. It’s not us that is benefiting.”

Brandenburg said he views many past trade deals as putting the United States last. “The administration wants trade agreements that give other countries more and us less.”

Livestock and crop producers in his region are “sucking air,” due to low commodity prices, and he believes Trump will focus on improving the market situation, along with deregulation.

“Everything you do is so scrutinized by these agencies,” said Brandenburg, referring to the EPA, FDA and other bureaucracies. Based on the group conference call, Brandenburg believes Trump will focus on directing government agencies to use a more common sense approach to water and land management that respects private water and property rights.

Trump has also shown support for energy independence and will be a proponent of ethanol production as well as oil and gas exploration and utilization, Brandenburg believes.

“Agriculture is a business. It has to cash flow. If we’re going to be asked to meet all of these requirements, whether it is wetland management, using the right pesticides, or whatever, we have to be compensated a fair prices.”

Wyoming rancher Hans Hunt who serves as a state legislator had a few minutes to chat on his cell phone while he moved cattle.

Trump favors weakening or totally eliminating WOTUS, said the Newcastle rancher who serves as the House Majority Whip.

Hunt echoed Brandenburg’s comments on TPP, saying that Trump wants to encourage job growth in the U.S, including manufacturing and ag production jobs. Hunt said that although many of the large ag organizations have positions of support for TPP, he believes individual producers are less enthusiastic about the deal. “A lot of ranchers worry as with NAFTA, when big plans like this are rolled out we only get bits and pieces and that creates distrust.”

Because of Trump’s talk of de-regulation nationwide, Hunt believes this would also apply to federal land management agencies. He expects, but can’t confirm, that Trump will support an approach that supports grazing on federal lands, along with oil and gas exploration.

Brandenburg shared the following list of talking points he received from the Trump campaign,

1. Advancing agriculture and rural America will be a high priority for the Trump administration.

2. A strong economy will be assured through fundamental tax reform that will allow all Americans, especially those involved in agriculture, to keep more money for their families and businesses.

3. Appointing judges to the Supreme Court who will protect our Bill of Rights will also be judges who will protect property, water and mineral rights for farmers and ranchers.

4. The Trump administration will work tirelessly to make America energy independent. Lowering the cost of production for agricultural products will benefit all Americans.

5. The Trump administration will work with Congress to ensure that the Interstate Commerce Clause is enforced to keep individual states from dictating policy for food growers in the United States.

6. The Trump-Pence Secretary of Agriculture will defend American Agriculture against its critics particularly those who have never grown or produced anything beyond a backyard tomato plant.

7. A Trump administration Secretary of Agriculture will have a seat at the table whenever any decision impacting rural America is made, including key environmental decisions. All segments of the agriculture industry will have a say in the development of any legislation or rule making done or supported by the executive branch.

8. Upon taking office, Trump-Pence will immediately pull back several job-killing Obama/Clinton regulations, including WOTUS that threaten U.S. agriculture. Furthermore, President Trump’s EPA Administrator will help, not hinder, farm and rural businesses grow and create jobs. The next EPA Administrator should be an individual that fully undesrstands and embraces the complexity of agriculture and rural issues.

9. Trump-Pence will use the best available science to determine appropriate regulations for the food and agriculture sector; agriculture will NOT be regulated based on the latest trend on social media.

10. 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 systems in this country.

11. Trump-Pence believe that death should not be a taxable event and no business should have to be sold in order to pay estate taxes.

12. A Trump/Pence Presidency will negotiate better trade deals for our manufacturing sector while continuing to protect and defend our vital agricultural export markets.

13. A Trump/Pence Presidency will be a strong proponent of energy independence and will support a strong role for biofuels in providing energy to the U.S. and others on the planet

14. President Trump recognizes that much of American agricultural depends on foreign-born workers to harvest crops and help care for animals. President Trump will stop the illegality at the U.S. border and will include America’s farmers and ranchers in determining the best possible immigration policies that ensure national security while protecting our economy.

The committee members are not necessary long-time Trump supporters. South Dakota’s governor Daugaard, a member of Trump’s new ag panel, commented in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, even when he was the presumptive Republican nominee. He voted for Kasich who had already pulled out of the race.

To see the full list of committee members, go to

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