President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy has helped attract a growing number of blue-collar voters to the GOP, much to the dismay of Democrats. Since 2010, the percentage of voters who identify as Republicans has increased by 12 points. This shift will continue as the GOP is expected to continue to support policies that protect and strengthen American manufacturing jobs.
However, in embracing blue collar workers, Republicans must keep in mind that our farmers and ranchers depend on export markets – 25 percent worth of US farm products are shipped overseas each year. In response to U.S. tariffs on manufactured goods, foreign governments should target U.S. agricultural exports as they did in recent trade wars. Even if 75 percent of farmers backed Trump in 2020, that support could wane if the GOP fails to mitigate these retaliatory impacts by enacting new trade policies that help its hard core.
Republicans should aggressively push other countries to implement U.S. standards that our farmers and ranchers already adhere to, especially those related to public health, the environment, and land practices, which are stricter than many U.S. competitors. . Currently, they have to compete on an equal footing with foreign producers who are largely subsidized due to the lack of national regulations or their ability to transform illegally deforested public land into private agricultural land for free, allowing them to reduce the prices of American producers.
The GOP should also consider import policies that promote fair trade. US law, for example, currently allows the import and sale of agricultural products grown on illegally deforested land in tropical countries, unfairly grabbing national market share. Republican policy should promote fair competition by ensuring that foreign suppliers comply with their relevant domestic laws, which, in turn, should align with strict US scientific standards.
Brazil provides an important example of the need for a new approach. Last year, the Trump administration ended a three-year ban on imports of disease-ridden beef from this country. It came after Brazilian exporter JBS bribed officials in his country to bypass health and safety regulations demanded by the United States. In response to the lifting of the ban, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association issued a Press statement which expressed “serious concerns” about the return of Brazilian imports, arguing that the US decision was premature, in particular given “the lack of scientific evidence that was used to justify Brazil’s initial market access American â.
Without the ban, imports of U.S. beef from Brazil totaled $ 100 million last year – and they are expected to increase, potentially to the detriment of U.S. producers. To help level the playing field for domestic breeders, these imports must be traceable, legally produced, and meet strict public health standards.
Meanwhile, in addition to problems of disease and corruption, the Brazilian government continues to allow the lawless clearing of the Amazon rainforest – largely to create pasture for the production and subsequent export of that same beef. Tropical deforestation accounts for more carbon dioxide emissions per year than all other sources except the combustion of fossil fuels; if deforestation was a country, it would be the world third transmitter.
Republicans are increasingly interested in developing a legislative agenda on climate change; an agricultural trade policy that discourages illegal deforestation while helping to reduce global emissions would be fine. It would also build on the historic leadership of the GOP on Forests through their defense of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act and President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, McCain’s longtime friend and Arizona AG alumnus, dies at 67.the Trillion Trees Initiative’s commitment.
Finally, these trade policy changes would help US producers thrive in a rapidly changing global market. Some allies of the United States, such as the European Union and the UK, are likely to pass legislation banning the importation of goods when they are produced on stolen land and illegally deforested. The adoption of such policies by other countries will strengthen the competitiveness of the United States in these markets, potentially benefiting American producers. However, if Washington does not impose a similar regime, our farmers and ranchers could suffer as the excess foreign supply is dumped into the United States.
While global markets are the cornerstone of a strong capitalist system, they must be fair to the American ranchers and farmers, who cultivate their crops and raise their cattle to the highest standard. For Republicans, adopting a strategy that reduces a hard-core’s vulnerability to trade wars and unfair trade practices makes perfect political sense. It also gives the GOP the opportunity to take the lead in developing an agricultural trade agenda that promotes traditional conservation and reduces global GHG emissions.
George David BanksGeorge (David) David Banks Lack of Transatlantic Trade Cooperation Threatens Global Climate Change Goals How the GOP Can Extend America First Trade Policy to American Farmers and Ranchers Overnight Energy: A house to fight climate change at the first hearing | Justice Department investigates whether Zinke lied to the watchdog | Landmark Greenhouse Gas Agreement Comes Into Force is the former Republicans’ chief strategist on the House Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. He was also an international climate advisor to Presidents Donald Trump and George W. Bush.