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.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Many industries depend on our nation’s transportation infrastructure to thrive, and the soybean industry is no exception. We use trucks to move soybeans from the farm to the elevator, trains to carry those soybeans from the elevator to the terminal, and barges to ship those soybeans to ports where they then supply our global trading partners. We need investment in each of these transportation systems to ensure that they remain modern and efficient. Currently, our waterways infrastructure, including our locks and dams, is in dangerous need of rehabilitation, and a failure along this critical trade artery would be a catastrophe for soybean farmers who depend on it to receive inputs and move their product to market. How would your administration propose to finance the investments needed to modernize our Nation’s transportation infrastructure?
President Obama: I know that America’s transportation infrastructure is in need of attention. And upgrading it is a necessary step in creating an economy built to last. American’s need to know that they can rely on our network of ground, air, and water infrastructure to get themselves and their products from point A to point B. It’s that simple. That’s why earlier this summer, I signed a transportation bill that will put thousands of construction workers to work and supports our commitment to restoring America's infrastructure. It provides states and communities with two years of steady funding to build needed roads, bridges, and transit systems. This is on top of my administration’s efforts to improve safety across all forms of transportation and to make progress on transportation alternatives as we have done during the last three years. I am making these historic upgrades while eliminating duplicative and outdated programs and saving taxpayers' hard-earned money. Last month, we freed up nearly half a billion dollars in unspent transportation funding that accumulated over the last decade and we are giving it right back to the states, so that they can spend it on the infrastructure projects they need most. My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work. We’re not going to let politics stand between good jobs and repairing our roads and bridges.
Governor Romney: A major part of the great success that American agriculture has experienced is because of the dynamic transportation system that has been developed over the last 100 years. This transportation system of barges, railroads, and trucks – supported by our nation’s major rivers and the Great Lakes – has and will continue to provide a significant opportunity for U.S. agriculture to feed a growing U.S. and world population. The net result has been the creation of millions of U.S. jobs and spurred economic growth here and around the world. And yet for future competitiveness of U.S. agriculture to remain intact, continued investment is needed to update our rural transportation system – locks, dams, and ports – so that we may remain the world’s leader in agricultural exports. A Romney Administration will support much needed investment in critical infrastructure to help keep our U.S. agriculture transportation system the most efficient in the world.