Addressing the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence touted the Trump administration's accomplishments in helping the state’s agricultural community and thanked farmers for staying strong during tough times.
Unleashing energy, cutting red tape, protecting property rights, cutting taxes and renegotiating trade deals, Pence said, has benefited Americans across the board, but none more than farmers.
The vice president visited the state's capital to speak at the MFB’s annual Lansing Legislative Seminar. He was accompanied by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“Traditionally, this event has always had a state-level focus,” MFB President Carl Bednarski said. “But when we came upon the rare opportunity to have Vice President Pence join us, we weren’t going to pass it up.”
“Most issues facing agriculture transcend state and federal boundaries in some way, shape or form,” Bednarski added. “Nationally, we’re on the heels of a new Clean Water Act rule that finally provides clarity and certainty for farmers by better defining a water of the United States.”
Bednarski touted the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico that’s expected to increase agricultural exports by $2 billion.
"And we now have additional agreements with China and Japan that provide additional opportunities for agriculture," Bednarski said. "All three of these in place thanks to a positive working relationship with the Vice President, Congress and the Trump Administration.”
A native of Bartholomew County, Indiana, Pence recounted mucking stalls on farms in his native town with his brothers. All this was prelude to a 30-minute speech that trumpeted the Trump administration’s accomplishments on behalf of American farmers.
“I bring greetings from someone who has been a champion for American farmers and ranchers every day of this administration,” Pence said, referring to President Donald Trump.
“Thank you for staying strong,” Pence continued. “Thank you for staying strong oftentimes through difficult and challenging times, bringing out those extraordinary values that are synonymous with the farm.”
Pence said the approximately 50,000 family farms in Michigan are responsible for raising and growing 300 agricultural products, which contribute more than $101 billion to the state’s economy. Additionally, he asserted MFB members employ 1 million farmers, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the state’s workforce.
He also discussed Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to repeal two federal regulations for each regulation passed. He added that, since Trump took office, his administration actually has repealed eight regulations for every new federal rule entered into the registry, as well as lowered taxes across the board while eliminating the death tax for nearly every family farmer in America.
“[W]e’ve been unleashing the full potential of the American economy through less taxes and less regulation, and greater respect for private property and fair trade from the first day we arrived in office,” Pence said.
Phase one of the new trade deal with China will secure $40 billion to $50 billion in agricultural exports to China in the next two years, the vice president said.
“The man who wrote 'The Art of the Deal' got a great deal for the American people and the USMCA is here,” Pence said, referring to the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The USMCA, Pence said, is “a huge win for the American farmers.”
Pence said the current administration has overseen policies responsible for creating 7 million new good-paying jobs, "including 102,000 good-paying new jobs right here in the state of Michigan.”