Wednesday evening, 34 million people tuned in to watch presidential candidates Hillary Clinton-D and Donald Trump-R on the debate stage. A short mention of trade, specifically NAFTA and TPP, was seemingly the only topic related to agriculture.
Earlier in the day in Washington D.C., representatives from each candidate gave more specifics on trade at a candidate forum co-hosted by Farm Journal Media and Farm Foundation.
Sam Clovis, the representative for Trump, and Kathleen Merrigan, the representative for Secretary Clinton, addressed ag-related topics during the 2-hour discussion.
The Trump campaign favors both fair trade and fair trade deals. According to Clovis, based on the nature of products, agriculture isn’t likely to be impacted by trade agreements. He said the campaign is looking at the “big picture.”
“The impact that trade agreements have on the country at large is a much larger issue,” said Clovis. “It encompasses much more than taking a look at a piece of our economy that’s relatively unaffected by the actual nature of the trade agreement.”
Merrigan said she understands agriculture in the U.S. benefits when export markets “are thriving.”
“We do a lot of tricky negotiations on behalf of American farmers and ranchers to make sure we have open access to different markets,” said Merrigan.
Both candidates stand at odds in terms of TPP. The Trump campaign believes the contents of the trade agreement need to be known before it is supported. The Clinton campaign said there’s a “real disconnect” about trade.
Monday on AgDay, hear Merrigan and Clovis discuss immigration.
Tuesday on AgDay, hear Merrigan and Clovis discuss the next farm bill.
Wednesday on AgDay, hear Merrigan and Clovis discuss the ag economy.