The vice president launched a “Farmers and Ranchers for Trump” event
By Diego Flammini
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed members of the ag community during a stop in the Midwest on Thursday.
Speaking at the Elwell Family Food Center in Des Moines, Iowa as part of a launch for “Farmers and Ranchers for Trump,” the vice president began his remarks by reassuring support for farmers whose crops and buildings suffered damage in Monday’s derecho.
"Let me say, on behalf of the president of the United States and our administration, I want Iowans to know we are with you," he told the audience of about 150 people. "We are going to stay with you. And we will work with your governor and your senators to make sure we bring Iowa all the way back."
Vice President Pence highlighted some of President Trump’s accomplishments that benefited the ag sector, starting with the elimination of the estate tax.
In tax cut packages, “we basically eliminated the estate tax for virtually every family farm. Death is no longer a taxable event,” Pence said. “And this president allowed for immediate expensing of equipment.”
Pence was referring to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act President Trump signed in December 2017 that made equipment depreciation rules better for producers.
Prior to the legislation, a farmer could deduct up to $510,000 of new and used equipment. The law increases that amount to $1 million.
The vice president also touched on trade agreements that benefit U.S. producers.
The USMCA is a “huge win for Iowa’s farmers and ranchers,” Pence said. “In 2018 alone, Iowa’s farmers and ranchers exported more than $6.6 billion worth of goods to Canada and Mexico. And Canada has actually agreed to expand market access for American dairy, for egg, for poultry (and) American wheat growers will have more access to a level playing field.”
The trade agreement could result in $2.2 billion in additional ag sales to Canada and Mexico, the vice president added.
Pence also highlighted President Trump’s signing of a phase one trade agreement with China, which secures about $50 billion in U.S. ag exports to China for the next few years.
In addition, the vice president touched on the repeal of the Waters of the United States law. He also mentioned how President Trump made E15 available all year, helping corn producers and the ethanol industry.