Trump: America First

Inauguration Address Promises Prosperity and Winning Like Never Before

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States on Friday and laid out an aggressive agenda in both his inaugural speech and White House website.

OMAHA (DTN) -- Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States Friday with a speech vowing "America first" as he promised more, better-paying jobs, stronger border security, lower taxes, better trade deals, new infrastructure, better schools and a safer country.

"I will fight for you with every breath in my body -- and I will never, ever let you down," Trump said. "America will start winning again, winning like never before."

In Trump's blunt, direct style, he told the country that the time for empty talk is over and now is a time for action. He spoke to the "forgotten men and women" who will be forgotten no longer. Trump also lashed out at Washington elites who have "reaped the rewards of government" while the average American did not share in the wealth. Describing the country as full of poverty, "rusted-out factories" with a poor education system and a nation filled with crime, Trump said, "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

Reiterating a strong theme from his campaign, Trump added that foreign countries have for too long taken advantage of the U.S. in trade deals, or security and allowed the U.S. to crumble while jobs went overseas and the middle class in the U.S. collapsed.

"From this moment on, it's going to be America first," Trump said. "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."

Trump added that his administration would rebuild American wealth and infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports and railways. People would get off welfare and back to work, he added. Further, Trump said the country will have two simple rules: "Buy American and hire American." With that, the country will thrive and prosper again, he said.

"And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator," Trump said. "So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again."

Trump did not mention agriculture or farmers in his speech. However, the inaugural parade Friday afternoon included a "Rural Tractor Brigade" sponsored by RFD-TV. Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Association, was among those who participated in the parade.

MAJOR AGENDA ITEMS ON WEBSITE

As the inauguration began on Friday, the White House website changed over from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. As such, the new website detailed some major agenda items of the new president. (See www.whitehouse.gov)

The new White House website lists six major issues: American First Energy Plan; America First Foreign Policy; Bring Back Jobs and Growth; Making Our Military Strong Again; Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community; and Trade Deals Working for All Americans.

Regarding trade policy, the White House website cites that "With a lifetime of negotiating experience, the President understands how critical it is to put American workers and businesses first when it comes to trade."

The administration makes it clear the U.S. will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump had said he would sign an executive order as early as Friday notifying other TPP countries that the U.S. would not take part in the deal. The White House also stressed the president is committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement or ending it. "If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States' intend to withdraw from NAFTA."

NAFTA accounted for about $1.225 trillion in trade in 2015 among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. That includes about $42 billion in U.S. ag exports to those two countries and $43 billion in U.S. ag imports from Canada and Mexico.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Friday congratulating Trump on his inauguration. Without referencing NAFTA or any possible renegotiation, Trudeau stressed the U.S. and Canada have a close relationship.

"Together, we benefit from robust trade and investment ties, and integrated economies, that support millions of Canadian and American jobs," Trudeau said. "We both want to build economies where the middle class, and those working hard to join it, have a fair shot at success."

The White House added the country would crack down on other trading partners that the Trump administration believes is violating trade agreements. "By fighting for fair but tough trade deals, we can bring jobs back to America's shores, increase wages, and support U.S. manufacturing," the White House states.

JOBS TO BE CREATED

Regarding jobs and the economy, the White House wants to create 25 million jobs over the next decade. The U.S. economy has created 14 million jobs since 2010. Trump also seeks an annual growth rate of 4%. A key to Trump's job creation plan will be lower tax rates and simplifying the Tax Code. That will require a tax overhaul package from Congress.

Concerning energy, the new White House website posted that the Trump administration would focus on lowering energy costs and "maximize the use of American resources." The administration also stated it would reduce regulations in the energy industry and eliminate the EPA Waters of the U.S. rule.

"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule," the website stated. "Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years."

The administration does not state the source for that $30 billion boost in income.

The White House also will place a moratorium on new federal regulation and will call on federal agency heads to identify regulations that can be repealed.

CLIMATE CHANGE REFERENCES REMOVED

In a reversal from the Obama administration, the Trump administration website removes all references to climate change or "renewable" energy. The White House touts the opportunity of "$50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own." The administration states that revenues from those untapped reserves could be used "to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well."

Trump's plans also call for boosting military and law-enforcement spending as well. In dealing with immigration -- a lynchpin of Trump's campaign -- the president also reiterated his administration's commitment to building a wall to stop illegal immigration, as well as deporting illegal immigrants with violent criminal records.

"He is dedicated to enforcing our border laws, ending sanctuary cities, and stemming the tide of lawlessness associated with illegal immigration," the White House stated.

There were no details regarding any foreign-worker programs that most agricultural groups have stated are necessary for domestic food production.

Chris Clayton can be reached at chris.clayton@dtn.com

(ES/SK)

Chris Clayton