With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate after Tuesday’s election, there are three main areas in which Republicans and the White House need to work together, according to Randy Russell of the agricultural and food consulting firm the Russell Group. The first area is trade.
“We need to get an agreement on giving the president trade promotion authority, which has been lapse and expired since 2007. That’s really necessary for them to take up eventually the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement which involves 12 countries including the United States and some of our key foreign markets in Asia and Latin America.”
The second is a highway transportation bill.
“We’ve done about 12 short term extensions of the highway bill in the last 5 or 6 years,” Russell explained. “It really epitomizes the dysfunction in Washington that we haven’t been able to get a long term transportation funding bill passed. This one in the current short term, legislation expires at the end of May and I think there is a real opportunity for the White House and Republicans to work on a long term transportation bill that will focus on infrastructure, bridges, roads, things that are really critical for the agriculture economy and rural economy.”
Russell says Republicans and the White House also need to work together on taxes.
We haven’t had a major tax reform bill since 1986. Our corporate tax rates in the United States are the highest of any in the developed world. There is a possibility that the White House and the congress could work together on corporate tax reform. So those are three areas that I really see that there could be some progress made, but again it’s going to require both sides giving some and a willingness on the part of the White House to work with a new congress in order to make those three things happen.”
Republicans now hold a majority in both the House and Senate after taking control of the Senate during Tuesday’s midterm election.
Source: NAFB News Service