Opinion: Why do we need to stop overregulating agricultural trade


FFA gave me amazing experiences in high school for which I will always be grateful. Much of what I know about farming and ranching comes not only from my childhood on a small farm, but also from the classroom and hands-on experiences offered by FFA. Looking back, I had no idea how important FFA was to my career, but I know it now. The number one industry in Arkansas’ Fourth District, which I have the privilege of representing in Congress, is agriculture. In fact, in the last agricultural census of 2017, the fourth district ranks first in the country for poultry and egg sales and is home to a variety of other agricultural productions, including but not limited to There, forestry, row crops, produce, catfish and livestock. For a small state, Arkansas is an agricultural powerhouse that we can be proud of knowing that it produces or has in store all the agriculture and natural resources necessary for our state to be self-sufficient.

The agriculture industry directly employs more than 19.3 million Americans and contributes more than $ 2,000 billion to the economy each year. Agriculture in Arkansas contributes more than $ 16 billion annually to our state’s total economy. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed holes in the US supply chain now felt by Americans across the country, and those holes are raising prices and making it harder for farmers to produce our food supply. . What is worse than the holes in the supply chain caused by market forces are the unnecessary burdens placed on farmers by the administration, which hamper farmers’ ability to earn a living.

Since beginning his administration, President Biden has spoken out against agriculture, signing ill-advised executive decrees, such as OE 14037: falsely labeled as promoting competition in the US economy which in reality , ordered federal agencies to regulate anti-competitive business practices in agriculture. What is seen as anti-competitive, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder, and in this case, in the eyes of liberal government bureaucrats. When this subjective discretion leads to increasing regulation of our country’s food producers, who react to market forces, it will not only harm existing businesses, but also hamper entrepreneurship and reduce processing capacity, which will increase prices at the grocery store.

Excessive regulation of the agricultural sector ensures that the economy no longer works for the consumer or farmers, as additional regulations prohibit small and medium-sized processors from entering the market. Government mandates on agriculture will only slow down processing, raise prices further, and ultimately do nothing to stop so-called “anti-competitive” practices. The Biden administration does not seem to understand the real consequences of its actions.

Our agricultural producers have successfully fed Americans and the world for decades without the White House orchestrating their every move. Congress must stop the Biden administration’s proposals that micromanage all farmers, from small family businesses to large corporations. You and I know that our local farmers know how to cultivate. They don’t need President Pelosi, President Biden, or Vice President Harris to tell them how to raise chickens, raise pigs, or grow watermelons.

I am disappointed with the lack of confidence this administration has in the American farmer, and I am saddened by proposals like the return of the United States Waters Rule (WOTUS) which continue to make their way into the conversation over the course of of this Congress. Farmers and ranchers are trying to increase their capacity to feed an estimated 10 billion people around the world by 2050. Instead of regulating the agriculture industry in the soil, Congress and this administration must support agriculture by keeping it. setting aside and leaving farmers to cultivate.

Representative Bruce Westerman, R-Ark. Sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is a senior member of the Natural Resources Committee.

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