In a WATT Poultry Chat video interview, Joseph Kerns, CEO of Kerns and Associates, spoke with Egg Industry Managing Editor Deven King about what the U.S. agriculture industry might be like under a Joe Biden presidency and Kamala Harris vice presidency.
King: The recent presidential election results have been making headlines all over the world and especially in the U.S. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, is predicted to be the next president, however, much of rural America voted for President Donald Trump. Joe, could you talk about what farming and ag markets might look like with a Biden presidency?
Kerns: Sure. I think you're starting to see that reflected both in the equity markets as well as the agricultural markets even the day after the election, where we've had a little bit of rally going on specifically in the equities, and then really, really perpetuating itself today. So we're up probably 2,500 points or so in the Dow since the election. I think, certainly, a large part of that was from the Pfizer announcement today with the potential COVID type of solution coming at us, it just adds optimism.
If I had to pick a word, even if you watch the Biden quote, acceptance speech, although it technically is not such, that you had a very upbeat, cohesive type of environment. Now a part of that is, I think, is out of necessity, because as we sit right now, it does look like the Senate will continue to be controlled by the Republicans or at 50/50, with the tiebreaker coming with the vice president, perhaps.
But I think a lot of the investment community, as well as a lot of rural America, almost really prefers that deadlock, if you will, where neither party can get too radical. And I think that, despite the vast majority of the Midwest trading, you know, showing up red on the electoral college vote, Chicago being the big exception that it can carry Illinois, but downstate, Illinois generally voted very similar to what Iowa and Indiana, it's bordering states look like, you end up in an environment where I think that it deserve it, that we have a lot of optimism. Again, with this COVID scenario, if we start to get some relief from food service, all of agriculture benefits, ethanol from a little bit more fuel use if we can start getting back to somewhat normal, as well as the restaurant industry also, that sorely needs some type of solution.
King: So obviously, with a Biden presidency, comes Kamala Harris as VP, can you talk about what role she may play in the ag markets and policy.
Kerns: I would almost take that out of her as an individual and into what she represents from the state that she comes from, and certainly, Proposition 12 inside of California, very much more protectionism, perhaps even violating the interstate commerce code. It is not as favorable to agricultural trade as what our Midwestern roots might show. So, I do think that there would be a threat.
The potential ill health of the apparent president-elect, by the way, when he jogged on the stage during that event that was not a that was not an accident that was meant to show vitality, that I think that we would change our tune dramatically were something to happen to Mr. Biden, and then Ms. Harris, taking over a presidential role. I think that you'd get a huge reversal of what we just experienced here in the last few days of trading equities.
King: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Joe. Before we wrap things up. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Kerns: No, just that what you saw today, specifically with Pfizer, is a great day for America. Regardless of who wants to take credit for it from an administration standpoint, the quicker we can get a virus under control and get back to normal and get commerce moving again I think the happier we will all be.
This script was edited for length and clarity.