Reaction to Trump's 2019 State of the Union speech

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


BEEF Magazine

Feb 06, 2019


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 ...


And here’s what other trade organizations are saying ...