President Trump in Farmers Roundtable and Executive Order Signing Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America

Washington, DC…THE PRESIDENT: Busy day. They had a very busy day — had a good day. We’re doing well, very well. Things are turning around. I know they’re turning around for you folks, so I just want to welcome you very much to the White House — special place — America’s farmers and ranchers. I especially want to congratulate Secretary — now I can say, Secretary Sonny Perdue, who was just sworn in as the Secretary of Agriculture — (applause) — sworn in by Justice Thomas. And it was a beautiful ceremony, and we’re going to celebrate a little bit later, and that’s great. We’re very happy. And you had a good vote too.


THE PRESIDENT: You didn’t have one of those 51-49 votes. (Laughter.) He had a very big vote, so thank Justice Thomas too — great man, great person. We appreciate it.

America’s noble farming tradition stretches back to its earliest days. Farmers led the way across the Great Plains, and put down roots from coast to coast. Today, America’s farmers feed not only our nation, but millions of people around the world, and we’re going to open that up much more for you folks because, as you know, it’s not totally open, to put it mildly. We learned that yesterday, frankly, with Canada, where the dairy farmers up in Wisconsin, Upstate New York, different places — a lot of border states in particular — are not able to sell their dairy products into Canada. And this has been going on for a while, and we’re not going to put up with it.

And separately, we put a very big tax — we will be putting a very big tariff on lumber — timber — coming into this country. People don’t realize Canada has been very rough on the United States. Everyone thinks of Canada as being wonderful, and so do I. I love Canada. But they’ve outsmarted our politicians for many years, and you people understand that. So we did institute a very big tariff; we announced it yesterday. And we’re going to take care of our dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and Upstate New York, and lots of other places. So I think you people all probably agree with that, right? Would you agree with that? You better believe it.

Our farmers deserve a government that serves their interest and empowers them to do the hard work that they love to do so much. And that’s what today’s executive order is all about. With this order, I’m directing Secretary Perdue to work with other members of my Cabinet to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that hurt our nation’s farmers and rural communities.

Now, Sonny, I’ve already signed a lot of regulations and terminations that really help the farmer a lot. You know what I’m talking about. But we have some left, and you’ll identify them. But we’ve really gotten rid of some of the biggest ones. And that was a big help, right? I mean, they won’t tell you about it, but they’re big numbers, and it’s going to mean a lot to the farmers.

This order also establishes the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, to be led by Secretary Perdue. I just want to tell you that it’s an honor to be with you because, among many other things, with this order, we continue a very relentless effort to make life better for hardworking Americans, and that includes the farmers and all of the people gathered around this table, including our ranchers, our rural community folks. We’re having a very, very big impact. It’s already started. Sonny is going to now identify additional areas where we can get rid of unnecessary regulations, and you people are going to be so prosperous, and you’re going to hire so many more people than currently work for you, and that’s going to make me very happy, okay?

So I want to thank you very much. So do we have the executive order, please?

So this is promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America. And, now, there’s a lot of words I won’t bother reading everything. But agriculture and rural prosperity in America, that’s what we want. And we don’t want to be taken advantage of by other countries — and that’s stopping, and that’s stopping fast. Okay, thank you.

(The President signs the executive order.)

Well, perhaps I should give this pen to Sonny Perdue. What do you think? (Laughter and applause.)

Thank you very much, everybody.

Q Mr. President, do you fear a trade war with Canada, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: No, not at all.

Q Why not?

THE PRESIDENT: They have a tremendous surplus with the United States. Whenever they have a surplus, I have no fear. By the way, virtually every country has a surplus with the United States. We have massive trade deficits. So when we’re the country with the deficits, we have no fear.

Q Will you sign a CR if it doesn’t include funding for the wall?


Q Will you sign a CR to continue funding the government if it doesn’t include —

THE PRESIDENT: The wall is going to get built, by the way. Just in case anybody has any question: The wall is going to get built, and the wall is going to stop drugs, and it’s going to stop a lot of people from coming in that shouldn’t be here, and it’s going to have a huge effect on human trafficking, which is a tremendous problem in this world — a problem that nobody talks about — but it’s a problem that’s probably worse than any time in the history of this world. Human trafficking, what’s going on.

The wall is going to get built, and we’re setting record numbers in terms of stopping people from coming in, and stopping drugs from coming in. You see the numbers down 73, 74 percent. I will say, Secretary Kelly — formerly General Kelly — is doing an incredible job. And I was just with him a little while ago, and he said we definitely, desperately need the wall. And we’re going to have the wall built. I mean, I don’t know why people are talking. I watch these shows, and the pundits in the morning — they don’t know what they’re talking about. The wall gets built — 100 percent. Thank you very much.

Q When will the wall get built?

THE PRESIDENT: Soon. We’re already preparing. We’re doing plans. We’re doing specifications. We’re doing a lot of work on the wall, and the wall gets built. The wall is very, very important.

Q In your first term?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s certainly going to — yeah, yeah, sure.

Q In your first term?

THE PRESIDENT: We have plenty of time — got a lot of time.

Thank you.

Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America


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By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that affects agriculture and rural communities, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. A reliable, safe, and affordable food, fiber, and forestry supply is critical to America’s national security, stability, and prosperity. It is in the national interest to promote American agriculture and protect the rural communities where food, fiber, forestry, and many of our renewable fuels are cultivated. It is further in the national interest to ensure that regulatory burdens do not unnecessarily encumber agricultural production, harm rural communities, constrain economic growth, hamper job creation, or increase the cost of food for Americans and our customers around the world.

Sec. 2. Establishment of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. There is hereby established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (Task Force). The Department of Agriculture shall provide administrative support and funding for the Task Force to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.

Sec. 3. Membership. (a) The Secretary of Agriculture shall serve as Chair of the Task Force, which shall also include:

(i) the Secretary of the Treasury;

(ii) the Secretary of Defense;

(iii) the Attorney General;

(iv) the Secretary of the Interior;

(v) the Secretary of Commerce;

(vi) the Secretary of Labor;

(vii) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(viii) the Secretary of Transportation;

(ix) the Secretary of Energy;

(x) the Secretary of Education;

(xi) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(xii) the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission;

(xiii) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(xiv) the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(xv) the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy;

(xvi) the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers;

(xvii) the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy;

(xviii) the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy;

(xix) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;

(xx) the United States Trade Representative;

(xxi) the Director of the National Science Foundation; and

(xxii) the heads of such other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the President or the Secretary of Agriculture may, from time to time, designate.

(b) A member of the Task Force may designate a senior level official who is a full-time officer or employee of the member’s department, agency, or office to perform the member’s functions on the Task Force.

Sec. 4. Purpose and Functions of the Task Force. (a) The Task Force shall identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life, including changes that:

(i) remove barriers to economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America;

(ii) advance the adoption of innovations and technology for agricultural production and long-term, sustainable rural development;

(iii) strengthen and expand educational opportunities for students in rural communities, particularly in agricultural education, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;

(iv) empower the State, local, and tribal agencies that implement rural economic development, agricultural, and environmental programs to tailor those programs to relevant regional circumstances;

(v) respect the unique circumstances of small businesses that serve rural communities and the unique business structures and regional diversity of farms and ranches;

(vi) require executive departments and agencies to rely upon the best available science when reviewing or approving crop protection tools;

(vii) ensure access to a reliable workforce and increase employment opportunities in agriculture-related and rural-focused businesses;

(viii) promote the preservation of family farms and other agribusiness operations as they are passed from one generation to the next, including changes to the estate tax and the tax valuation of family or cooperatively held businesses;

(ix) ensure that water users’ private property rights are not encumbered when they attempt to secure permits to operate on public lands;

(x) improve food safety and ensure that regulations and policies implementing Federal food safety laws are based on science and account for the unique circumstances of farms and ranches;

(xi) encourage the production, export, and use of domestically produced agricultural products;

(xii) further the Nation’s energy security by advancing traditional and renewable energy production in the rural landscape; and

(xiii) address hurdles associated with access to resources on public lands for the rural communities that rely on cattle grazing, timber harvests, mining, recreation, and other multiple uses.

(b) The Task Force shall, in coordination with the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs, provide State, local, and tribal officials — and farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other rural stakeholders — with an opportunity to suggest to the Task Force legislative, regulatory, and policy changes.

(c) The Task Force shall coordinate its efforts with other reviews of regulations or policy, including those conducted pursuant to Executive Order 13771 of January 30, 2017 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs), Executive Order 13778 of February 28, 2017 (Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule), and Executive Order 13783 of March 28, 2017 (Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth).

Sec. 5. Report. Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the other members of the Task Force, shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, recommending the legislative, regulatory, or policy changes identified pursuant to section 4 of this order that the Task Force considers appropriate. The Secretary of Agriculture shall provide a copy of the final report to each member of the Task Force.

Sec. 6. Revocation. Executive Order 13575 of June 9, 2011 (Establishment of the White House Rural Council), is hereby revoked.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


April 25, 2017.