Following are five issues related to the upcoming Presidential election that are of prime importance to food distributors. In each case the positions of candidates Bush and Gore are outlined.
d retain the tax, but increase the exemptions available to estates valued at less than $10 million.
Bush: Would seek legislation to immediately eliminate the Estate Tax.
Regulation: The Clinton administration has proposed a myriad of new standards that would require all employers to continually monitor workers for ailments and injuries that stem from the performance of their jobs. Employers would be required to develop programs to eliminate the job-related cause of these workers' ailments. Failure to comply with this regulation would be punishable by monetary fines.
The food industry, as most other business sectors, contends its ongoing efforts to reduce on-the-job injuries would be set back, as companies would be forced to spend billions of dollars to comply with federal monitoring mandates, recordkeeping requirements and to implement injury-reduction programs some say would be of dubious value.
Gore: He steadfastly supports this proposed regulation, with the strong backing of organized labor.
Bush: He has taken no position on this issue, but has said he favors a "go-slow" approach to all new federal regulations.
Labor-Striker Replacements: Whether to change existing law that permits employers to hire "replacement workers" when the company's workforce engages in a strike.
The food industry, along with other business sectors, staunchly opposes any efforts to change this law, arguing a replacement worker ban would tip the management-union scales in favor of organized labor, since it could effectively shut down a company's operation and force it out of business.
Gore: Has indicated he supports union's efforts to ban the use of replacements during strikes.
Bush: He opposes changing the right to hire replacement workers during strikes.
Health Care: Whether or not to enact a Patients Bill of Rights permitting consumers to sue health care providers for alleged abuses, inappropriate care, or denial of care and benefits. Whether or not to mandate that health care insurance plans cover the costs of certain treatments, such as for mental illness.
The food industry, as most other business sectors, fear that the patients rights plan would expose companies to law suits, even if they offer health benefits via a third-party provider.
Gore: Favors enacting a Patients Bill of Rights and mandating increased mandatory health care coverage.
Bush: Opposes the Gore plans, but has not proposed his own comprehensive one. Instead, favors the creation of local adjudicative bodies to air consumers' complaints about their health care providers before legal action can be filed.
International Trade: Whether to seek now agreements lowering barriers to commerce and services, or to do so, but insist that such pacts guarantee worker rights and insure no environmental degradation.
The food industry and most other sectors wants a new round of talks to lower import duties and non-tariff barriers to trade. It opposes making new trade agreements conditional upon worker and environment guarantees.
Gore: A free trader who would insist on worker and environmental safeguard in any new trade pact.
Bush: A free trader who believes that labor and environmental compacts should not be part of trade agreements.