Trump to Outline Efforts to Boost Agriculture, Rural Prosperity in Speech to Farmers in Nashville

In what the White House is calling his “first major policy address” since passage of the Republican tax plan, President Donald Trump is expected use his speech to farmers in Nashville to outline efforts to boost agriculture and rural prosperity. 

Trump’s remarks to the American Farm Bureau Federation on Monday will cover a wide array of topics, including the expiring farm bill, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the roll out of recommendations from a task force charged with working on agriculture and rural issues.

Trump’s return to Music City — his second since entering office — will coincide with the release of recommendations from the task force established in April 2017.

White House officials said Friday the task force’s recommendations will feature five main components:

  • Enhancing broadband access and commercial connections in the country’s rural areas;
  • Improving quality of life, including addressing opioids, education and recreation;
  • Generating a reliable workforce;
  • Advancing technological innovations; and
  • Economic development.

“I’ll steal a little thunder from the report,” said Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance. “There’s a sentence in the opening that states that, ‘While other sectors of the American economy have largely recovered from the Great Recession, rural America has lagged in almost every indicator.'”

The task force’s report is also expected to include portions focused on trade in an effort to ensure the nation’s agriculture industry is on a level playing field around the globe.

Trump has frequently blamed countries like China for “taking advantage” of the United States in terms of trade.

Starling called Trump’s address to the farm bureau the “first major policy address” the president has made since the passage of the tax bill. Starling said Trump will likely note that fact, as well as touch upon the ongoing opioid epidemic that has ravaged the country.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Joel Ebert