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5 things farmers should know about a Trump Whitehouse

With Donald J Trump set to become the 45th President of the United States, we look at how the Trump Whitehouse may shape the future for Australian farm businesses.

1. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will be delayed, at best

Trump’s protectionist trade sentiment is concerning for Australian farmers and we will need to assess over the coming days and weeks where this leaves trade reform objectives.

Donald Trump's campaign centred on themes of opposing free trade and migration, and protecting American jobs. Trump was critical of existing trade deals - notably the North American Free Trade Agreement - and the (as-yet unratified) Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which Australian farmers would benefit.

Australia exports over 70% of its farm produce, so any trade damaging measures such as increases in tariffs, reductions in import quotas or increases in US domestic subsidies will hurt Australian farmers and other exporting nations.

As part of its #Vote4Ag election campaign, the American Farm Bureau asked candidates to summarise their position on trade (including ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership). Donald Trump responded as follows:

I strongly oppose TPP as drafted and will work hard to develop trade agreements that are in the national interest and benefit American workers including our farmers.
Donald J Trump

Both candidates expressed concern about the TPP as drafted during the campaign, however it is unclear to what extent the Trump Administration might require renegotiation of the agreed text before ratification, or how long this might take.

2. American farm subsidies are unlikely to be reformed

US farmers recieve significant levels of Federal Government support, placing Australian farmers at a disadvantage in the global market. Much of this support flows via the controversial Farm Bill.

Donald Trump has voiced strong support for the Farm Bill (with the notable exception of the food stamps programme), stating:

I support a strong safety net for our nation’s farmers
Donald J Trump

This will continue to be a source of concern and frustration among low subsidy nations such as Australia.

3. Leadership on climate change is unlikely to come from the U.S.

With the exception of supporting ethanol, Donald Trump has a history of questioning climate science and rejecting investment in renewable energy.

As Australia considers its emissions abatement options after our current Emissions Reduction Fund is exhausted, the answer is unlikely to come from the United States.

Australian farms have been a consistent source of emissions abatement under current schemes, but without a clear path forward for government policy, investment in this arena may be less certain.

4. Currencies and commodities may have welcome news for harvest

Over the course of today, as the Trump victory firmed as the likely outcome - global markets have tanked.

What is bad news for investors may hold a silver lining for Aussie farmers. Both oil prices and the Aussie Dollar have been slashed during trading.

While these impacts may be temporary, any prolonged reduction in these prices may mean cheaper fuel and a currency-led recovery in commodity prices as we come into harvest for winter crops.

5. We may have an ally on science-based biotechnology policy

Despite a Twitter gaff during the campaign (attributed to a junior staffer) alleging a link between GM crops and voter intelligence, Trump has come out strongly in favour of technology in agriculture.

When asked about his thoughts on biotechnology, Trump responded: 

Through innovation, American farmers are producing crops more resilient to drought, heat, and pests. Government should not block positive technological advancements in agriculture.
Donald J Trump

This sentiment may make President Trump an unlikely ally for a global industry seeking an evidence-based policy response to advances in agricultural technology.


What do you make of the new Commander-in-Chief? Log in and leave us a comment below with your thoughts.

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4 Responses

    I am 100% in agreement with you Percy and Ian The unprecedented scientific scam perpetuated by a small unscrupulous group of selfish people has, unfortunately, been accepted by too many who haven't bothered to question the science. There is however a growing body of people who are speaking out against it. Notable scientists include Prof Murry Salby and Prof Bob Carter (unfortunately now deceased) Prof,s Sebastian Lunig and Fritz Vahrenholt ( of Die Kalt Sonne fame) to name a few. Whilst CO2 (pure)has been shown in a Lab to have green house gas characteristics, there is far too little of it (even at 1,000 parts per million) to be able to change the temperature of the globe. Atmospheric moisture ( which is not measured as part of the gas makeup of air) has a far far greater effect but that hasn't been raised as an issue. The scammers haven't been able to work out how to make money out of it! I could go on for hours on the topic but suffice to say Here's hoping Don Trump can lead a revolution to revert to a more sensible and stable situation.

    Climate Changers Trumped! Finally a leader that has some sense about the scam of Climate Change. Talk to any long range forecaster who looks outside this globe to find out what is going on in the universe and they will denigrate any climate change science. We recently had some supposedly smart guy scientist who tried to scare the population that should the ice on the Antarctic circle melt then seas would rise by seven metres. Did he take the time to measure how many time that small circle would fit over the oceans of the Earth and calculate how many kilometres of ice (above current sea level) would be required to melt for that to happen! Then include all the rivers that would take huge amounts of water along with the low lying land expected to be covered by such a rise and this man's credibility is smashed! Reminds me of a sheepdog: scare the sheep enough to get them moving in the right direction but do not panic them enough to stampede. Sorry but your weights are up mate, you cannot expect the same of humans! The other scam is carbon credits: Australia should be getting paid $T's by the worlds population who are polluting our atmosphere because we control a huge volume of the world air. Forget the numbers of people work out how much pollution is contaminating that air by volume not population and pay those who are suffering the damaged atmosphere. Nobody has indicated just who benefits from the huge volume of compensation money from polluters paying those carbon credits.

    It is very disappointing to read that Trump is condemned by the NFF for questioning climate science. If the NFF took the time to investigate the science and evidence it would also question the widely accepted views about this matter. The reality is there is not one piece of empirical evidence supporting the IPCC 'climate change' hypothesis, NONE. I know that is hard to believe, let me know if you can find even one piece. The IPCC reports are based solely on Computer models, attempting to model a highly complex set of contributing factors, many of which there is incomplete knowledge about, and some which are literally impossible to predict so they use 'best guesses' or are simply not included. Minor errors, repeated many millions of times as they are when attempting to forecast future climate are greatly enlarged making the models incapable of predicting future climate. Climate has always changed (incontrovertible evidence) so it is necessary to provide evidence to support these claims. The only evidence they can produce is circumstantial evidence. The overwhelming body of science and empirical evidence indicates that the intermittent warming that occurred last century is perfectly normal and can be explained by processes ignored by the IPCC. The scientific method is based on continually testing every hypothesis and if evidence disproves any aspects of it, the hypothesis needs to be amended or discarded. Using the scientific method the 'climate change' / anthropogenic global warming hypothesis fails and should be totally rejected. On the other hand carbon dioxide is vital for all life as we know it and increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are highly beneficial for plant life and everything that depends on that, including mankind. Naively accepting the climate change mantra without proper investigation is letting the members of this organisation and all farmers down. Please take the time, with an open mind, to check the science. For those interested I am happy to email them a Paper on this subject that I have written from a farmers perspective, based on research over the last 26 or so years. Contact me at: Ian@countrylivinginteriors.org

    Will be interesting to watch this unfold...

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