US Election May Shape International Agriculture

The 2012 election may shape international agriculture and overseas trade, some American farm officials say. International organizations are nervously watching the election to see how it will impact their industries.

Agricultural issues have already been at the forefront of the election for some time. Democrats, for example, are using the failure of the farm bill to hammer Republican representatives in rural districts. President Obama has been touting his free trade policies (noting that US farmers recently reached record high export incomes), while his challenger, Governor Mitt Romney, has been placing tax policy at the center of his rural campaign.

Agricultural politics in the United States reverberates well beyond the US’s border. In Australia, for example, farm officials are waiting for the results of the upcoming election to make predictions about the farm sector.

The policy set by American lawmakers could have huge repercussions oversea. Reduction to farm bill funding could lead to the elimination of agricultural aid programs to foreign nations. Reduced production (whether due to weather or to policy concerns) could ostensibly lead to fewer US exports.

With the 2012 farm bill and the upcoming fiscal cliff looming large in 2013, international observers have noted that whoever is the president on January 20, he will have a difficult time ahead of him.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer