WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump is touting his policies for rural America, a segment of the national economy that has lagged behind growth in urban areas.
Trump headed to Nashville, Tennessee, Monday to tell the American Farm Bureau Federation, one of the country’s top lobbying groups for agricultural interests, that his recently signed $1.5 trillion tax cut legislation will benefit family farmers and that his administration is rolling back clean water environmental regulations on farmlands.
“In every decision we make, we are honoring America’s proud farming legacy,” Trump said, according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.
The White House also said Trump will release a report calling for greater high-speed internet connectivity in rural America, which lags behind U.S. cities. Rural America includes 72 percent of land in the U.S., but its 46 million residents constitute only 14 percent of its 327 million citizens.
White House agriculture aide Ray Starling said, “High-speed internet should remain a high priority for the administration.” The report urges faster federal permitting for broadband internet expansion in rural areas and for eased rules for providers to place cell towers on federal lands.
Trump is also expected to address rural America’s concerns about foreign trade for farmers. Some U.S. agricultural interests are concerned that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership championed by former President Barack Obama. Trump also voiced lukewarm support at best for the North American Free Trade Agreement with two other big trading partners, Canada and Mexico.
After his speech in Tennessee, Trump heads to Atlanta in the neighboring state of Georgia to watch Monday night’s national college football championship game between the universities of Georgia and Alabama.