Just a little over 100 days into his administration, US President Joe Biden has already made big policy decisions that will impact the country’s nearly $300 billion animal food industry. Constance Cullman, president and CEO at AFIA looks at the current state of play in the US.
From making an ambitious goal of vaccinating 70% of US adults with at least their first Covid-19 vaccine by July 4, to exploring the need for workplace guidance, Biden has signalled his intentions to curb the spread of the coronavirus and safely get the economy booming again. Also on the domestic front, he released proposals to address the country’s deteriorating infrastructure needs and to make inroads in meeting the country’s climate change commitments. Many of Biden’s Cabinet picks are tough on regulations and bring a different approach to workplace safety, food safety and environmental protection than the previous Trump administration.
On the international front, Biden has said he plans to “fix” relationships with foreign allies by pursuing multilateral agreements where it makes sense and using collective pressure against bad actors.
His pick for US Trade Representative has voiced the administration’s commitment to pursuing strong labour and environmental standards in future trade agreements, using the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement as the model, but has discussed how future agreements should go further to include provisions on climate change and other issues.
Meanwhile, US lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to debate domestic policy – weighing decisions on how they can deliver more relief to the business owners and unemployed Americans still reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic with how, and whom, will pay for it. Rural America is anxious about new taxes, climate legislation, immigration and more.
In my upcoming session during the Virtual All About Feed Forum, I will discuss the current state of play in Washington, DC, and how the American Feed Industry Association is changing its policy priorities to better represent its over 650 animal food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. I will also offer my perspectives on what’s next for the administration and Congress as we return to post-pandemic life.