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Reaction to Trump's 2019 State of the Union speech

Farm groups applaud focus on infrastructure, call for swift action on trade.

President Trump delivered his State of the Union speech, Choosing Greatness, on Feb. 5.

His talking points included:

  • From criminal justice reform to opioids, bipartisan successes are happening.
  • Congress can rebuild trust by championing a safe, legal immigration system.
  • We can invest in 21st century infrastructure that leaves no community behind.
  • New trade deals will ensure no foreign country exploits American workers.

Here’s what some farm groups are saying about the speech.

"We welcome President Trump's call for quick passage of the USMCA, and we hope that members of both parties in both chambers heed that call,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston. “With 96% of our potential customers living outside the United States, there's no policy issue more important to American cattle producers than access to foreign markets. The sooner we can secure our access to Mexico and Canada, the sooner we can focus our time, energy, and resources on improving our access to lucrative markets in Asia and Europe."

“Wheat farmers are pleased to hear President Trump discuss the need to invest in America’s infrastructure,” said National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Goule. “With any infrastructure legislation, we hope the President and Congress prioritize the critical needs of rural infrastructure. This includes making improvements to transportation infrastructure, expanding access to broadband, and updating rural agricultural research facilities.”

“President Trump has outlined bold priorities in his State of the Union address, and we hope the administration and Congress can move forward in a bipartisan manner to make progress toward the goals that we all share,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers and ranchers across the country need reforms to our immigration system, and we echo President Trump’s call for Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to preserve and build on the export gains with our North American neighbors. At the same time, we support bipartisan efforts to rebuild and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, including broadband technology in rural areas.”

“The President’s remarks tonight failed to recognize the harsh realities facing American farm and ranch families,” said Rob Larew, National Farmers Union Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Communications. “The reality is that the downward trend in the farm economy has only worsened over the last two years, leaving many farmers and ranchers in significant financial stress. The reality is that once-stable markets for U.S. farm products are now being lost to our competitors. And the reality is that the current downward pressure on farm prices as a result of lost markets will continue for years to come. To tout progress with China or USMCA as a win is misleading – you can’t dig a ten-foot hole, fill it up with a foot of dirt and call that a win.”

Here’s what cabinet members are saying:

“Border security is not, and should not be, a partisan issue,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “President Trump clearly laid out the need for new federal funding and serious reforms to our outdated laws in order to fully secure our southern border. Make no mistake, there is a humanitarian and security crisis at our border that will continue to worsen if Congress fails to act. We have all seen the horrors of human smuggling, drug trafficking, and the violence carried out by cartels and other transnational criminal organizations. DHS frontline personnel have made it clear what they need from Congress to end the crisis and fully secure the border. It is time Congress recognizes the facts on the ground and takes this problem seriously.”

“President Trump provided a unifying, hopeful vision for the nation tonight, highlighting administration accomplishments and the booming economy, but also expressing optimism that even greater achievements lie ahead,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The president’s policies have been beneficial to American agriculture in the short term, but also have laid the foundation for long-term prosperity. Our trade agreements with other nations are getting stronger, and the strategies the president has employed will lead to new and expanded markets for our products. This was a patriotic speech, reminding Americans of the greatness of this country, with even brighter hopes for the future.”

And here’s what other trade organizations are saying

“Trucking and trade are synonymous,” said American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear. “Trucks move $720 billion worth of goods annually across our borders with Canada and Mexico, and cross-border trucking activity supports more than 47,000 jobs in the United States. Any significant disruption to those trading relationships would have serious consequences for trucking and the economy, so we join President Trump in his call for Congress to quickly ratify the USMCA trade agreement.”

Source: NCBA, NAWG, Office of Homeland Security Secretary, American Trucking Association, AFBF, Office of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, National Farmers Union, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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