JANESVILLE (WKOW) — First Congressional District candidate Bryan Steil announced the endorsements of farmers from across Southeast Wisconsin at a gathering at a Janesville farm.
The Republican faces Democrat Randy Bryce for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat. Steil weighed in on issues important to farmers like the trade war and the expiration of the Farm Bill.
That bill is expected to be called for a vote after November’s election but some farmers say they’re in a pinch not knowing if the risk management program they need to qualify for operating loans will even be there. Without passage of a new spending package or an extension, it leaves dozens of programs in limbo until Congress votes.
Steil said if elected, he has plans to continue trade deals that are good for the agriculture industry.
“It should be a nonpartisan analysis on how we put policies in place that help farmers and in particular we could do a lot with trade to have access to markets so our farmers can ship their products freely and fairly around the globe,” said Steil.
Tariffs were also discussed — a big issue in the farming industry and a regulation that Steil said will continue to have benefits as long as the second phase goes into effect.
“I want access to markets like the dairy market in Canada,” said Steil. “We want to see the next chapter of these negotiations quickly so we have access to free and reciprocal trade so there are lower barriers in trade.”
Steil’s opponent Randy Bryce is not opposed to tariffs but believes President Donald Trump’s trade war has created tensions with strong allies.
Bryce also believes retaliatory tariffs imposed by other nations will have a negative impact on farmers’ crops.