Issue Position: Agricultural Policies
John McCain Will Open Foreign Markets to American Farmers. America's agricultural industry is the best in the world. John McCain will expand access for U.S. agricultural producers to foreign markets, providing a great and lasting benefit to American farmers. He will work tirelessly to ensure our farmers receive fair prices for their products. As president, John McCain will engage the agricultural community and international leaders to move forward a trade agenda that expands access to overseas markets and promotes American agricultural exports.
John McCain Has A Strategy to Achieve Fair Trade From Other Countries. As president, John McCain will fight to ensure that U.S. trade policies are in accord with bilateral and WTO trade agreements. At the same time, he will demand the same of our trading partners, and will stand up for producers by holding these partners accountable under existing and future trade agreements.
John McCain Will Address the Food Crisis Through Reduction of Trade Barriers and Improved World Markets. With 150 participating countries, the Doha Round negotiations provide a critical opportunity to lower trade barriers, decrease trade distorting subsidies, and stabilize an affordable food supply for all nations. These negotiations have languished for several years. An agreement will only be reached with strong leadership from the United States, and as president, John McCain will provide that leadership.
John McCain Supports a Risk Management Program for Farmers. When a farmer suffers from a natural disaster such as droughts or floods, we should assist them - this is a commitment we have made to our farmers and John McCain will honor it. As president, John McCain will fight on behalf of family farmers to enact reasonable reforms to our crop insurance program and our system of countercyclical and direct payments.
John McCain Will Focus Farm Policy on Those With Clear Need. John McCain will veto any bill containing special-interest favors and corporate welfare in any form. As president, John McCain will base our farm policy on the common good, with policies that help our small farmers to succeed, and our rural communities to survive and flourish once again. John McCain opposes providing billions to subsidize large commercial farms--those farms with an average income of $200,000, and an average net worth of $2 million--while American workers and taxpayers struggle to buy food due to rising prices. As president, McCain will seek to cap subsidies to farmers whose adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000. This will ensure that small farmers are provided with a reasonable safety net, while protecting the taxpayers from subsidizing lucrative corporate farmers. He will fight to put an end to flawed government policies that distort the markets, artificially raise prices for consumers, and pit producers against consumers.
John McCain Supports a 21st Century Green Revolution. Growing better crops using less land, water and natural resources requires a robust scientific research agenda. As president, John McCain will direct the USDA to carry out a comprehensive research approach to help develop more drought resistant higher yield crops and increase production per acre. This will not only be critical to addressing our worldwide food needs but also necessary to combat global warming. He also will promote conservation programs that encourage maximum environmental stewardship on America's farmlands, vital to assisting farmers in the protection of wildlife and rivers.
John McCain Will Work to Restore Rural Prosperity and Improve Quality of Life. John McCain believes that Rural America can best be served by lower taxes, strong markets, a vibrant economy, high tech connectivity, protection from natural disasters, better choice and availability of health insurance, better quality education, and retirement security.
John McCain Will Combat Hunger at Home. John McCain supports fully funding Food and Nutrition Programs and carrying out a robust Emergency Food Assistance Program at a time when high food prices are hurting the neediest among us. He supports indexing food stamps to reflect the current cost of living and he would fill shortfalls in the Emergency Food Assistance Program. Senator McCain also supports providing marketing tools for the fruit and vegetable industry focused on promoting healthier American diets.
John McCain Supports Exercising Regulatory Waiver Authorities to Ease Unexpected Burdens Imposed on Consumers. John McCain is opposed to federal policies that divert over 25 percent of corn out of the food supply and into subsidized ethanol production. Unless action is taken, up to 30 percent of corn will go to ethanol production in order to comply with the 2007 law requiring fuel marketers to blend 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol into the nation's fuel supplies by 2015. This policy will only exacerbate the global food crisis. As president, John McCain will ensure the EPA exercises its authority to waive this mandate or restructure it to ease the unintended consequences it will have on America's economy.