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Issue Position: Agriculture Is a Cornerstone of Our National Economy

Issue Position

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"I believe the American agricultural worker is the most efficient and productive in the world." --Sen. John McCain, July 16, 2008.

Throughout Arizona's rich history, farmers and ranchers have been the bedrock of our state's heritage and prosperity. Today, Arizona's agriculture community contributes about $9.2 billion annually to our state's economy. Additionally, the industry provides over 70,000 jobs to Arizonans all over our state.

Senator McCain believes food security is a key component of national security and that we cannot allow our grandchildren to become dependent on foreign countries for their basic food needs.

American agriculture doesn't need protectionist programs or unfair tax policies that drive up production costs. The United States should continue to engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade. Senator McCain will stand up for Arizona's producers by holding international trading partners accountable under existing and future trade agreements. Senator McCain also knows that farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land, and that Congress should learn from their on-the-ground experiences when it comes to establishing policies concerning the environment and natural resources.

Senator McCain's leadership in Arizona agriculture encompasses several key issues, including:

* Addressing the need for both permanent and seasonal labor;
* Protecting your freedom to farm and raise livestock without the threat of being shut down by radical environmentalist lawsuits and burdensome government regulation;
* Opposing the Oberstar-Feingold Clean Water Restoration Act so that states can continue to have a say in the regulation of waters within their borders;
* Working to keep energy costs down;
* Ensuring the continued multiple use of public and state trust lands;
* Addressing regulatory threats on our poultry and livestock industry from animal rights groups.

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