Trade Policy and the Family Farmer
The candidates spent the few minutes before a commercial break debating trade policy -- a very important issue for Iowa's farmers.
All four of the major candidates tended to agree that the current trade policy was skewed in favor of large multinational companies and against the small family farm.
Edwards called the policy "failed" and promised that under an Edwards administration the first question asked on trade agreements would be: "Is this good for middle class working families in America?"
Clinton agreed and used the question to talk about her work in the Senate on behalf of the 34,000 family farms in New York. "I tried to become a real advaocate for them," she said. "I want to be a smart, American trader."
Obama attacked the subsidies being given to "these big mega farmers" and vowed to "cap those subsidies" as president. Obama said globalization was already here and the key was to make sure that Americans are "hard bargainers" when it comes to trade agreements.
Richardson, too, vowed to "find a way to make sure the big agribusiness interests don't hurt the family farmer," proposing a focus on "renewable fuels and technology."
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