During the Presidential campaign, both candidates have been trash talking trade. So how will the winner deal with trade once in office? “Trade is going to be difficult for both candidates,” says Patrick Pfingsten, policy analyst with the Corydon Group of Indianapolis.
Trade policy is important to agriculture, and the ability to see our farm products on the world market is key to future prosperity in agriculture. But can a constructive approach to trade be possible after this election?
Pfingsten says Donald Trump has made anti-trade isolationism a key part of his campaign, “He has said some things that some folks feel could start a trade war with China.” This could be a disaster for agriculture, which ships a significant amount of soybeans and other farm products to China.
“Clinton, who used to support trade, has backed away from it; and, if elected, will face a Republican House that will hate her and a Senate that will be divided, no matter what party is in control,” said Pfingsten. He said she will find it very hard to advance any kind of trade agenda.
One issue that did not get much attention during the campaign was the state of the rural economy. Pfingsten said, despite several swing states having large rural and farm populations, neither campaign focused on this issue, “I was really disappointed neither campaign focused on some of the real problems we have here in the Heartland.”