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Op-Ed by Nikki Haley: Here's My Plan to Free Farmers From Washington and China

September 26, 2023

Des Moines Register by Nikki Haley

Farmers tell it like it is. When they speak, I listen.

This month, a sixth-generation Iowa corn, soybean, and cattle farmer told me things have never been this bad. The price of everything has gone up, from diesel fuel to fertilizer to feed. He's worried his family can't make ends meet because Washington is ratcheting up costs. He told me other farms are losing more money with every passing year. They can't keep it up forever.

Yet finances are far from his only worry. That farmer told me that even if he gets control of costs, he's worried he'll still lose control of his future. Communist China has bought up farmland, and it's trying to steal our seed technology. He said it's time to protect ourselves from this foreign enemy, before it kills American agriculture.

I made that farmer a promise: As president, I will free America's farmers and ranchers — from Washington and China.

I didn't grow up on a family farm. But I did grow up playing on a family farm and then working at a family business — in a state where agriculture is the number-one industry. I know how hard it is to make a dollar. I know how much it hurts when Washington takes it away. And I know the pain that comes when foreign countries take a state's lifeblood. South Carolina used to be the beating heart of the textile industry. I refuse to let Washington and China hollow out Iowa and the rest of America.

Defending farmers starts at home. I will cut the federal spending that's fueling inflation on farmers and families. And I will end federal overreach that's pushing farmers to the brink. Joe Biden is trying to control agriculture in the name of "climate change," but all he's doing is driving up prices while making it harder for farmers to stay in business. Joe Biden wants Iowa to look like California. Iowa's just fine the way it is.

Joe Biden wants Washington to own Iowa. He's determined to use the "Waters of the United States" mandate to give the federal government control over farmers' land — claiming a puddle on their property is basically a river. This heavy-handed power grab forces farmers to fight with the feds just to fill a ditch. Farmers already know how to protect nature. They've been doing it in Iowa since the early 1800s, while still feeding America and the world.

I will eliminate the federal gas and diesel taxes that are hamstringing farmers already struggling with Joe Biden's inflation and war on energy. After reaching a record high of nearly $5.80 a gallon in June 2022, the average cost of diesel is still $2.00 more than it was when Biden took office. Biden's green energy agenda completely ignores the realities of farming life. As one farmer told me, "you can't run a combine on a battery."

Farmers will thrive once Washington starts working for them, not the other way around. But agriculture won't be truly safe until we tackle the threat of communist China.

China wants to control American agriculture, full stop. That's why Chinese investors have bought nearly 400,000 acres of U.S. land. Our enemy is boosting its economy at our expense, but that's not China's only goal. If China is successful in gaining more control of our food supplies, it would make us dependent on our enemy for the food we eat.

Food security is national security. As president, I will do everything in my power to force China to sell every inch of land it owns. I will stop China from buying any U.S. company that affects our security, including our food supply. The sooner we get China off our farms and out of our factories, the safer we'll be. Iowa farmers shouldn't worry about China eating them alive. China should worry about Iowa farmers beating it worldwide.

My plan is built on the timeless American values of patriotism and freedom. The best thing we can do for farmers, ranchers, and families is to free them from Washington and communist China alike. We can't let them threaten Iowa's and America's future any longer. Just like farmers, I tell it like it is. And just like farmers, I get the job done.

Nikki Haley, Op-Ed by Nikki Haley: Here's My Plan to Free Farmers From Washington and China Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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