Over and over again, Donald Trump - first as a candidate and today as president – tells Americans his goal is to "make America great again."
Well, if President Trump wants to see what's already great about this nation, he need only take a trip to an agriculture state, like Iowa. Farmers, the most prolific producers of food on the planet, do more than their share to make America great each and every day. (Today, the average American farmer produces enough food to feed about 155 people, according to farmersfeedingtheworld.org.)
The president, it would seem, should want to do everything he can to support this great sector of the American economy, right?
Instead, his administration is doing the opposite. From a decision to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to a threat to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement, to putting agriculture products in the cross-hairs for retaliation after imposing tariffs on foreign imports, the Trump administration isn't acting like a friend to agriculture.
President Trump's fellow Republicans (three governors, seven U.S. House members and six U.S. senators) in Iowa and neighbors Nebraska and South Dakota – states, which by the way, supported him over Hillary Clinton in 2016 – should make maximum use of whatever clout they have with the White House to ratchet up pressure on the administration for more supportive agriculture policies.
On Thursday, President Trump – who frequently changes his mind about policies – told farm-state leaders in a meeting at the White House he may consider rejoining the TPP. That's a sign lobbying by agriculture states can have a positive impact.
Without a detour, the road the Trump administration is on today eventually will lead to economic calamity in the Heartland.
And that won't make America great.
Sioux City Journal, another Lee Enterprises publication, April 15.