Trump Visits Nashville and Atlanta to Address Rural America and Watch Football

January 8, 2018, 4:56 PM UTC
US President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform at the Indiana Farm Bureau building on the Indiana State Fairgrounds September 27, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump will talk to a group of farmers about his plans for rural America in Nashville on Monday.

Trump is set to address the American Farm Bureau Federation at their 2018 convention. White House officials have called the speech Trump’s “first major policy address” since Congress passed tax reform Dec. 20.

Trump is scheduled to speak at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center at 3 p.m. CT.

After the speech, Trump will head to Atlanta to watch Alabama’s Crimson Tide and Georgia’s Bulldogs play in college football playoffs. ESPN, which has been a target of Trump’s criticism, told a local Nashville station that the network didn’t expect an interview with Trump while he attended the game.

During his speech at the convention in Nashville, Trump is expected to tout effects of GOP tax reform on farmers and take credit for rolling back the Obama Administration’s approach to the Clean Water Act. He is also supposed to discuss the farm bill, major omnibus legislation governing food and agriculture programs that is up for renewal in September.

The White House created the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in April, and Trump is also expected to discuss some of that task force’s recommendations in his Nashville speech.

The task force has recommended providing improved internet access, availability of affordable housing and medical services, providing specialized career development and using technology to help farmers support their businesses.

Trump’s visit to Nashville will give him a mostly favorable audience. Most of the task force’s suggestions align with Trump’s views. However, rural voters have also favored the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements Trump has opposed and threatened to pull out of.

“Based on fair trade principles, international market access must be aggressively pursued and supported,” the task force’s report said. “Physical infrastructure and e-connectivity must be improved and maintained to connect farms and rural communities to the world. American agriculture needs and deserves policies that support and build on this success — by opening markets abroad; by ensuring fair and science-based regulatory treatment for American products of all kinds; and by implementing strong enforcement policies that hold trading partners to their commitments.”

George H. W. Bush was the last president to address the agricultural convention, in 1992.

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