Biden, Trump discuss regulatory reform with American Farm Bureau


President Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, each took time to respond to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey on agriculture issues.

Question from the American Farm Bureau Federation: All Americans have an interest in a regulatory process that is transparent and fact-based, respects the will of Congress, and observes the separation of powers in the Constitution. Federal regulations have a direct impact on farmers and ranchers, and over the years, the breadth and extent of that regulatory landscape have changed. As president, what actions would you take to ensure that the federal government’s regulatory burden on businesses such as farming and ranching is consistent with congressional intent? Will you support regulatory reform to ensure that federal regulations meet a cost-benefit test and make the process of writing new regulations more transparent, and if so, how?

Biden: Far too often, regulatory policy has been a partisan political tool rather than a process to improve the livelihood of American families and businesses. Under our Administration, regulatory policy will again embrace the lessons and experience of experts and scientists, employing cutting-edge analysis and knowledge to guide decisions. We will listen to those that might be impacted by a regulation before it is crafted. We will ensure an open, transparent deliberation on the costs and benefits of various regulations leads to better, more inclusive policy outcomes, and our administration will strictly adhere to these values at every stage of the regulatory process.

Trump: From day 1, the Trump/Pence Administration has sought to lift the undue regulatory burdens that had been placed on farmers and ranchers during the Obama/Biden Administration. With the 2 for 1 directive, any new regulation had to also be accompanied by a removal of 2 existing regulations. The Trump/Pence Administration has exceeded even that expectation since taking office.

The Obama/Biden Administration unleashed hundreds of rules that saddled the US economy with hundreds of billions of dollars of increased costs. No better example of the regulatory burden of the Obama/Biden Administration is in the agriculture and food arena. The Trump/Pence Administration made deregulation a cornerstone of its economic plan. This led to greater economic growth, higher employment, and increased profitability for small business, including farmers and ranchers.

The Obama-Biden Administration pursued a more burdensome regulatory agenda for farmers than any previous administration. From using the endangered species act to cut off water and operational flexibility, to creating OSHA standards that didn’t recognize the unique aspects of farming, to making the H-2A program unworkable and moving slowly to address delays when they occurred, to climate policy that would penalize farmers for their productivity. At almost every turn, the Obama-Biden administration sought to impose greater labor, tax, and environmental regulations on our hard working farmers.

In the agriculture sector the Trump Administration has advanced rules related to organic agriculture, biotech, livestock marketing, nutrition programs, school meals standards, and numerous Farm Bill programs that have eased burdens on farmers and ranchers, and eliminated disincentives to productivity.

Additionally, the Trump/Pence Administration has pursued significant reform of NEPA—recently rolling out the first overhaul of the National Environmental Policy Act in over 30 years. This will greatly reduce the timeline for any environmental review proposed regulations and will help to avoid frivolous lawsuits that the environmental community has saddled business with. You can be assured that a Biden Administration will reverse these decisions and go in an even more radical environmental direction.

The Trump/Pence Administration will only support common sense regulations where any cost is far outweighed by the benefits, and where that cost benefit analysis considers all factors including economic and impact on rural communities. This Administration fully supports protecting our environment, but believes that human flourishing and economic growth is integral to any effective regulatory agenda.

You can see each candidates answers to other agriculture-related questions below:

Food System Resiliency
Farm Policy Programs
International Trade
Tax Policy
Regulatory Reform
Endangered Species Act
Clean Water
Rural Life and Health
Agricultural Labor
Sustainability and Climate Change