Michigan agriculture leaders held a virtual town hall today to talk about trade and how it impacts the supply chain.
With the presidential election in full swing, panelists were asked what they would say to the administration after Inauguration Day to immediately boost agriculture and ag exports.
Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agribusiness Association said he would have a clear message to federal leaders.
“Listen to the voices of rural America and agriculture that have called for predictable and open trade for the last several years,” he said. “We would ask for a seat at the table to talk about what works for our industry and what doesn’t.”
Joe Cramer, executive director of the Michigan Bean Commission, seconded Lippstreu’s sentiment.
“I believe in the idea of a clear-cut philosophy that’s well communicated if everybody can get behind that, the pieces will fall into place,” he said. “We need consistency and a commitment to free trade.”
Speaking from a trade partner perspective, Laurie Tannous, a Canadian immigration attorney, said policy continuity would be what she would discuss with U.S. executive leadership.
“Consistent policy that helps with the economic development, facilitation, movement in the export of agriculture and making sure that policy is continuous and consistent across the board,” she said.
In addition to clarity and continuity, Jose Jimenez of ZFS, Inc. said he would include accountability.
“[We have] a deal with China, and we would like to understand where we’re stand, and what was the intention?” said Jimenez.
Lippstreu said despite the results of the election, ag needs to keep doing what they’ve been doing.
“[We will] speak up on behalf of open trade that benefits farmers, businesses that are members at MABA, and the overall rural community.”