Monday, December 11, 2023

Feed industry sees opportunities in Trump administration

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By Barbara Olejnik

Poultry Times Staff

ATLANTA — The new Trump administration and its changes in leadership present opportunities and challenges for the U.S. feed industry.

This was the assessment given by Joel G. Newman, president and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association, in a talk during the recent International Production & Processing Expo.

While there is uncertainty because the Trump administration is “unconventional, not like any other administration we are familiar with,” Newman said, the administration also presents opportunities and challenges in reduced federal regulations that Trump campaigned on as well the president’s nominees to head various Cabinet departments.

Regulatory reform legislation includes:

  • Regulatory Accountability Act which revises rulemaking procedures and provides Congress with “another step to go back and look again” at the rules.
  • Regulatory Relief Act which requires federal agencies to choose “the least costly option” in rulemaking unless a costlier option is needed to protect the public.
  • Regulations form the Executive in Need of Security (REINS) Act requires congressional approval of all major rules (over $100 million annual cost impact) before they can be put into effect.

Newman noted that 90 percent of the initiatives proposed by Trump will require congressional approval. Some members of Congress have spoken against certain proposed points so the Congress will “not just be a rubber stamp” for the Trump administration.

Newman also discussed some Trump nominees for Cabinet positions that could have the most effect on U.S. agriculture.

Sonny Perdue, nominee for secretary of agriculture, would “be a real champion for the food industry,” Newman said.

Perdue is a veterinarian, a two-term Georgia governor and currently runs a feed & grain company. Newman noted that Perdue’s vision for USDA is to ensure services are more user friendly, to work better with other agencies including the Food & Drug Administration and to make sure farmers get a fair deal in trade treaties.

Trade, another area that effects on U.S. agriculture, and Robert Lighthizer has been nominated to be the U.S. Trade Representative.

Not everyone is pleased the U.S. dropped out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, Newman said, pointing out that the agreement “would have been great for industry . . . our industry is largely dependent on exports.”

Newman noted that Trump has said he favors bilateral trade agreements, but “this will take time to do” and how the U.S. tackles the issue is “critical.”

U.S. trade, Newman said, creates 1 million jobs and in the past eight years has accounted for $1 trillion in exports.

Scott Pruitt, nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency administration, “could be handcuffed by prior suits against the EPA,” Newman said. However, “he is very serious about making changes” to the EPA, including reducing the current size of the agency by one-third.

Newman also assessed other nominees, including:

Dr. Tom Price, Health & Human Services secretary: He seeks to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). “Look for some changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act.”

Andrew Pudzer, Department of Labor secretary: Current CEO of Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s, “opposes regulatory oversight,” which he says has cost jobs in fast food and other industries.

Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management & Budget: Prepares the president’s budget and expect a “focus on a cost/benefit analysis of federal regulations.”

Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce secretary, may be involved in trade negotiations if Trump turns this over to the Commerce Department.

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