President Trump Speaks at the American Farm Bureau's Annual Convention
NASHVILLE, TN - The Annual American Farm Bureau Convention welcomed President Donald Trump to close out its General Session in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday, in which the leader took the opportunity to restate his commitment to farmers and rural America. Trump is the first president to address the convention in 25 years.
With Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Tennessee lawmakers by his side, Trump signed two executive orders designed to increase the reach of broadband into rural areas and to support broadband tower facilities in rural America, according to CBS News. During his address to the convention, Trump argued that these moves, along with the recently introduced Republican tax law, would allow more farmers to keep money in their pockets and reinvest in their companies.
"In every decision we make, we are honoring America's proud farming legacy," Trump said. "Years of crushing taxes, crippling regulations, and corrupt politics left our communities hurting, our economy stagnant, and millions of hardworking Americans completely forgotten. But they, guess what, are not forgotten anymore."
This speech and the executive orders focused on improving rural broadband connectivity come on the heels of Monday’s report from Trump's rural America task force, which highlighted the need for better internet access. According to the Federal Communications Commission's 2016 Broadband Progress Report, 39 percent of rural Americans—roughly 23 million people—lack access to high-speed internet.
"That is why today in a few minutes I will take the first step to expand access to broadband internet in rural America so you can compete on a level playing field, which you were not able to do. Not fair," the President said.
Trump also took a few moments to discuss his administration’s progress in renegotiating NAFTA. He told the crowd, that the deal is "under negotiation as we speak." Senior administration officials told reporters Friday that the administration would be sure to see that rural U.S. agriculture interests are fairly treated and have access to global markets, according to CBS.
To learn more about President Trump’s address to the American Farm Bureau, read the full transcript on the White House website here.