Why Vote for Joe? A Plan to Retake America’s Agricultural Advantage through Investment and Trade
Joe Biden understands that Democrats face a difficult road to win trust from farmers who have been abandoned by decades of neoliberal policymaking and a national focus on globalization. This is why Joe Biden has made it a point to visit and talk to farmers so he can understand what policies would best boost their bottom lines and allow them to be competitive now and into the future.
For farmers, Joe Biden will:
1) Return America’s agricultural advantage through a tough but steady pro-family-farmer, rancher trade policy
Since 2018 bankruptcies and delinquencies in rural areas have skyrocketed, with farm bankruptcies surging 20 percent in 2019 alone. China was supposed to help stop the bleeding with its promise to purchase more goods from American farmers under a phase one trade deal.
However, the deal included the clause that China would meet goals based on “market conditions,” and China has purchased nowhere near the level of goods it would have to by this point in order to meet its two-year targets.
Many damaging tariffs are also still in place under the phase one deal, and China was supposed to pay for the losses caused by new tariffs. However, the Market Facilitation Program has paid farmers 130 percent of what the tariffs have brought in, meaning once again taxpayers are subsidizing Trump’s broken promises.
Joe Biden understands that strong and effective trade enforcement requires steady action toward measurable goals, not a whirlwind of bluster, flattery and inconsistent threats. Biden will help farmers compete by fostering pro-America, competitive trade policies that help American farmers get their fair share.
2) Promote the use of ethanol and the development of sustainable biofuels
The Biden plan advances the future of rural America by investing in new technologies that promote growth and profitability while addressing climate change. The choice is not between a healthy climate or growth — the Biden Plan embraces both.
The Biden plan makes investment in research and development a priority and will promote the development of cellulosic biofuels that do not harm the water and soil, while turning grass and crop residues into marketable fuels. This future-forward thinking will make America’s farmers key to solving climate change while creating quality jobs.
3) Provide the tools family farms need to thrive through investment, innovation and anti-trust enforcement
Market concentration hurts small and medium-sized farms. The Biden plan increases competitiveness and access to fair markets by strengthening anti-trust enforcement and requiring large corporations follow the rules — not write them.
The Biden plan will also increase funding for the USDA’s farm ownership and operating loans and supports the development of regional food delivery systems. By fostering a cooperative approach, small farms can collectively develop supply chains that deliver products to institutions like schools and hospitals, allowing them to negotiate their own prices and create stable systems for supply and demand that mitigate the effects of unexpected weather.
4) Invest in technology and equipment
Farmers can be at the forefront of the fight against climate change while being global leaders in agricultural innovation.
Joe Biden will stand with farmers as they face the weather-based challenges climate change presents, giving them the tools they need to fight droughts, floods and other extreme weather.
The Biden plan will provide low-cost financing for the transition to new equipment and farming methods and fund research in crop development and precision agriculture. It also creates a voluntary carbon farming market that pays farmers for emissions they secure.
Joe Biden stands with farmers and rural America. He will not repeat the mistakes of forcing water and environmental regulations on family farms from within a D.C. bubble. He will work with farmers to strengthen their positions in the global market while helping them overcome the immediate challenges posed by climate change.
Vice President Joe Biden and his team have released a comprehensive “Plan for Rural America.” Farmers and ranchers might wonder how they fit into that plan, since Rural America has evolved to encompass much more than production agriculture. Bottom line, the plan fundamentally recognizes that net farm and ranch income still drives the success of many businesses on Main Street in Iowa’s small towns and those around the country.
Improving the quality of life in rural America will help keep our small towns vibrant and attractive to more young people (some of whom are leaving the big cities), but agriculture still drives much of the rural economy.