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Ag’s place in Trump’s State of the Union

Ag’s place in Trump’s State of the Union

The President mentioned ending the estate tax and passing a new Farm Bill

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

While his second State of the Union address was far reaching, covering such topics as immigration, the economy and infrastructure, President Donald Trump touched on some issues of importance to the ag industry.

During his mention of the economy, Trump noted that his administration “virtually ended the estate tax or death tax, as it is often called, on small businesses, for ranches and also for family farms.”

He also touched on the ag industry during his discussion of bipartisan cooperation.

The Farm Bill, criminal justice reform, and vowing to confront the nation’s opioid crisis are examples of the Democrats and Republicans working together, President Trump said.

He brought up farmers again when speaking about trade, urging the Democrats to help pass the USMCA.

The new trade deal can help the country “bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand American agriculture, protect intellectual property, and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four beautiful words, made in the U.S.A.”

Ag groups also expressed the need for beneficial trade relationships.

“As we consider our place in the world stage, let’s make sure that we preserve smart trade deals that keep American wheat producers in a strong position,” Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said in a response to the State of the Union. “This includes remaining in NAFTA until the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement is in place and moving forward with new bi-lateral deals.”

Representatives from the ag community attended the State of the Union.

Each member of Congress can bring a guest to the event, and Cheri Bustos, a Democratic Congresswoman from Illinois, brought Tom Mueller, a cash crop producer from Edgington, Ill.

“Times are tough for farmers right now – it’s more important than ever that our leadership in Washington walks in our shoes and understands the challenges ag producers face,” Mueller said in a statement.

Josh Harder, a Democratic Congressman from California, also brought a farmer as his guest.

Harder invited John Casazza, a local walnut farmer and lifelong Republican, to attend the State of the Union.

“I appreciate the opportunity to join Rep. Harder to show that we in the (Central) Valley can put politics aside and focus on what matters, Casazza said in a release.

And Angie Craig, a Congresswoman from Minnesota, invited Katie Brenny, a cattle producer, as her State of the Union guest.


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