What is in this article?:
With the national spotlight on the race for the White House, the American Soybean Association (ASA) reached out to President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for each candidate’s points of view on issues critical to soybean farmers. President Obama and Governor Romney offered their positions on the farm bill and crop insurance, estate tax, biodiesel, biotechnology, trade, research, regulations, and transportation and infrastructure.
Read their full responses below.
Soybean farmers respect the rules and are committed to upholding their responsibilities under the law. Farmers also realize that some rules and regulations are put in place to conserve resources, ensure safety and protect the environment. Unfortunately, onerous or needless regulation can impede responsible production, overlap, duplicate one another, and create reams of paperwork for farmers. Rather than protect, conserve and enhance, overregulation serves only to hinder farmers’ ability to remain productive. Soybean farmers are committed to a good-faith effort with government to ensure that all regulations are followed, but how would your administration work to see regulations implemented that are strong, practical and science-based, without being redundant or duplicative?
President Obama: Farmers want to work their land; they don't want to spend days upon days on paperwork. With smart, sustainable policies, we can continue to grow our agricultural economy today and protect our environment for ourselves and our children. That’s why my administration has worked with farmers to identify and reduce regulatory burdens. For example, in return for voluntarily making habitat improvements on their lands, landowners now have certainty that they will be able to continue managing their lands without taking additional conservation action. This helps reduce the burden on landowners while ensuring the protection of surrounding lands and
species. Even more broadly, I have always been committed to looking at existing rules on the books, and streamline, fix and eliminate those that aren’t working. Last year, I issued an Executive Order calling for a government-wide review of regulations to reduce costs, eliminate unnecessary burdens, and get rid of unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. In response, dozens of government agencies produced final plans, including more than 500 proposals for reducing regulatory burdens. These changes are already improving conditions for consumers and businesses. Over the next five years, more than $10 billion in savings are anticipated from just a small fraction of the initiatives now underway. Now there is a lot of misinformation out there about changes environmental standards. Let me be clear that all existing regulatory exemptions for agricultural discharges and waters are going to stay in place in the future. I know that farmers are ultimately the best stewards of our lands and I am committed to working together to find innovative solutions that ensure farmers are competitive in the global market.
Governor Romney: Reversing the massive overregulation that President Obama has pursued will take time, but rest assured that beginning on day one of the Romney Administration we will initiate a review of all Obama-era regulations that have burdened farmers and ranchers while weakening job creation and the rural economy. From an EPA that has saddled U.S. agriculture with costly air and water quality rules, to a Department of Labor that put forth regulations that sought to disqualify young farmers and ranchers from working on their own families’ farms, it is high time that we restore commonsense to federal rulemaking. A Romney Administration will appoint strong leaders to handle regulatory agencies. These leaders will be chosen because they understand the private sector and their faith in the American people – not the Washington bureaucracy. I know that when considering regulations we should ask: do they help or do they hurt jobs? My administration will understand what all of rural America understands: the real cost of complying with new rules isn’t just the taxes paid and the money spent; it is also the businesses that are never started, the ideas that are never pursued, and the dreams that are never defended. We are committed to freeing farmers and ranchers from these burdensome regulations and fostering job creation and growth in rural America.