Harris, Pence spar over food, ag, China, USMCA
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the Democratic vice presidential candidate, made the first mentions of food and agriculture in the presidential debate cycle on Thursday evening.
During the only scheduled debate with Vice President Mike Pence, Harris said “This administration stood on information that if you had as a parent, if you had as a worker knowing you didn’t have enough money saved up, and now you’re standing in a food line because of the ineptitude of administration that was unwilling to speak the truth to the American people.”
Harris also referred to the administration’s trade negotiations with China, saying “You lost that trade war.”
“What ended up happening is, because of a so-called trade war with China, America lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs,” she said. “Farmers have experienced bankruptcy, because of it. We are in a manufacturing recession because of it.”
Pence faulted Harris for voting against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, saying that the USMCA “was a huge win for American farmers, especially dairy in the upper Midwest.”
Harris had said the USMCA was not acceptable because it did not address climate change.
The Commission on Presidential Debates said the next debate, a town hall event scheduled for Oct. 15, would be held with the presidential candidates appearing remotely, but President Donald Trump said he would not participate in it.
The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, suggested that the next event, scheduled for Oct. 22, be a town hall format instead of the planned debate.
Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced a bill to double USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program funding.