Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Trump's Rural Broadband Order Doesn't Do Anything New

U.S. President Donald Trump U.S. President Donald Trump
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 13:05

Trump says "most family farms will be spared" now from the "deeply unfair estate tax", adding that the GOP law will help farmers "keep your farms in the family".

"From [day one], we've been working to deliver for America's farmers, just as they work every single day to deliver for us", the president said.

"Farm country is God's country", Trump said to a standing ovation as he closed out his remarks to the farming convention crowd.

"For years, many of you have endured burdensome fines, inspections, paperwork and relentless intrusion from an army of regulators at the EPA, the FDA and countless other federal agencies", Trump said. American farmers send about $2.6 billion of corn to Mexico every year, a practice that could be jeopardized if Trump tears up NAFTA.

In a rambling speech, President Trump told the audience at the conference that United States farmers are the "most incredible people".

Trump's opening remarks focused on praising the roles farmers have played in U.S. history, saying they founded the country and won its independence.

"We know that our nation was founded by farmers. But we're going to make it fair for you people again".

"I'm looking forward to working with Congress to pass the farm bill on time so that it delivers for all of you and I support a bill that includes crop insurance", Trump said after noting Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts was in attendance. From deregulation to tax reform, the president made his best case for how his administration is on the side of farmers and making their lives better.

The speech did give particular focus to a handful of policy proposals aimed at farmers and people in rural areas, like investments in the expansion of broadband internet to rural communities.

"If he was thinking we don't need NAFTA, we're going to pull out of NAFTA, I'm not sure he would come to an audience like this that's so dependent on trade for agricultural goods", he said.

Improving rural broadband connectivity has always been a goal, and previous administrations - including President Barack Obama's - have tried to address the issue with little success.

He gave the speech to American Farm Bureau Federation to thank them for their political support and to unveil a new plan created to help struggling rural areas. The second order requires the Interior Department to make towers and other infrastructure on federal lands available for broadband deployment. As the President said, farmers settled America, expanded our frontiers, and as members of the military, have historically protected this country from harm. "We plan to hold him to this commitment", Guebert said.

As the first call to action, the task force said that "reliable and affordable high-speed internet e-connectivity will transform rural America as a key catalyst for prosperity".