President Donald Trump has received recent praise — and deservedly so — for following through with a campaign promise and ensuring that E15 ethanol fuel can be sold year-round, much to the delight of corn farmers in Nebraska and elsewhere.
But that’s not the only action taken by the president that deserves plaudits from the agricultural sector.
Much attention has been, and will continue to be, focused on the negative impact on agriculture of the president’s tough stance with China on trade issues. The tariffs put into place by the president have resulted in fewer sales of soybeans and other commodities to China.
Less attention has been given to other aspects of White House agricultural policy, but they’re worthy of noting. They include:
— The president has emphasized working to streamline the regulatory maze for agricultural biotechnology. A recent executive order to federal agencies is designed to help eliminate delays, reduce developer costs, and provide greater certainty about the review process for farmers.
Biotechnology has been used in farming for decades to produce safer, more sustainable crops. Streamlining the biotechnology regulatory process will help create an environment that fosters greater investment in these innovative crops.
— In conjunction with the year-round ethanol sales ruling, the White House also has been working to improve the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program by increasing transparency and reducing the potential for price manipulation in the Renewable Identification Number market.
— In acknowledgment of the impact of trade standoff with China, the president secured up to $16 billion in federal funds to support farmers against unfair trade retaliation. Mr. Trump also negotiated the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will provide fairer markets for farmers and ranchers. The White House also has negotiated better deals for farmers, opening up market access for American beef and lamb to Japan, pork to Argentina, and elsewhere.
— The Trump administration has been working to expand opportunity and prosperity in rural communities, including by investing in rural broadband. Last year, for example, the administration launched a new program to promote high-speed internet connectivity in rural America, offering up to $600 million in loans and grants.
While rural and production agriculture interests may not agree with every decision made by the Trump administration, there’s certainly plenty to support.