The GOP has published its 2016 Party Platform; Democrats will release theirs next week. The document can be seen here, with Agriculture, Energy and Environmental issues on pages 17-22. For those who’d rather not wade through, the American Soybean Association has provided a quick synopsis of topics related to agriculture.
Trade – The document offers language about the importance of agricultural trade, expanding exports and science-based standards for food and ag. The platform opposes approval of TPP during the lame-duck session of Congress.
Government Regulation – The platform expresses concern about overregulation and its impact on competitiveness. It specifically opposes WOTUS, the practice of making meat production more expensive, and the impact of Endangered Species Act designation. It also includes a proposal to convert the EPA into a bipartisan commission.
Conservation – You’ll find language acknowledging farmers as good stewards of the land and recognizes the benefits of voluntary conservation programs and modern farming practices to achieve conservation goals.
Ag Data – The platform includes language supporting the privacy and security of farmer-owned data.
Biofuels – Little is noted about biofuels, with only a passing reference about private investment. There is no specific mention of RFS or biodiesel. It calls for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, but also supports elimination of energy subsidies.
GMO labeling – The GOP is opposed to mandatory GMO labeling.
Crop Insurance & Farm Income Safety Net – This section is ambiguous, noting only the government’s role (or lack thereof) to help farmers manage risk.
Nutrition Programs –The platform calls for a separation of nutrition from the farm bill and also wishes to separate SNAP from the USDA.
Stay tuned for a similar summary of the Democratic platform when it is released.