Donald Trump and his presidential rival Joe Biden have set out their priorities for agriculture as the race for the White House hots up.
On the campaign trail, the incumbent President Trump focused on his achievements so far, while former vice-president Biden made a play on environmental sustainability and improving prosperity in rural communities.
With November’s election fast approaching, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) asked each candidate what their priorities in office would be.
AFBF president Zippy Duvall said: “We are at a crucial time for agriculture as we navigate the challenges of a global pandemic, trade wars and depressed markets. It is important for our members to understand where the presidential candidates stand on issues important to rural America.”
There was a divide in the candidates’ environmental commitments, with Mr Trump claiming American farmers were ‘the most sustainable in the world’ and saying sustainability and climate requirements must be science-based and not result in tighter profit margins.
Mr Biden, on the other hand, said he would work with farmers to create new opportunities and revenues in a bid to tackle climate change.
On trade, President Trump thanked ‘the American farmer for their patriotism that enabled him to stand up to the Chinese’, claiming Mr Biden would allow China to take advantage of the US.
He also emphasised he was eager to finalise a new US-UK deal which would include ‘significant agriculture access’.
A major difference in policy aims was the Endangered Species Act, which Mr Biden vowed to uphold, claiming it had prevented the extinction of more than 99 per cent of the species it protects.
Mr Trump said his administration had delisted more species ‘than any President in their first term’.
Both stated they would follow the science on genetically modified organisms, rather than being pressured by political activists.
On rural communities, Mr Biden pledged to ‘build a pathway to the middle class for rural Americans’, prioritising high speed broadband and healthcare, including mental health and tackling the opioid crisis.
Mr Trump also spoke of addressing the rural/urban divide, providing internet access for the agricultural data and technology ‘revolution’ and funding mental health provision.