How Trump’s first week will impact ag

Energy, trade, health insurance, border wall, agriculture, government spending — Trump kept busy in his first few days in office. Here’s a recap and thoughts on how these moves might impact agriculture.

Amanda Radke

January 30, 2017

3 Min Read
How Trump’s first week will impact ag
Pool/Getty Images News

Friday, Jan. 27 marked President Donald Trumps' first week in office. On inauguration day, Trump promised Americans, “We will follow two simple rules -- buy American, and hire American.”

READ: Here's the full transcript of Donald Trump's Inauguration Speech

His first week was marked by protests, marches, criticism, shock and awe as the newly minted president had his pen busy, signing a dizzying number of executive orders, making it incredibly clear that he plans to waste no time “making America great again."

Aside from his childish obsession with attendance at his inauguration and speculation about voter fraud, Trump has been keeping busy following through on his campaign promises. With a focus on trade, health insurance, energy, a border wall and agriculture, here is a recap of Trumps' actions in his first days in office:

1. Trans Pacific Partnership

Agriculture better prepare to follow a new set of trade rules under Trump, as he quickly withdrew the U.S. from the TPP, and he also plans to revisit the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This will significantly impact how U.S. beef is marketed overseas, and the industry is scrambling to figure out ways to maintain its hard fought and won export markets around the world. Ag groups have mixed reactions to these trade moves, and I would venture to guess with Trump's “America first” sentiments, a passionate resurgence of folks pushing for country of origin labeling will soon be an industry focus.

READ: Trump’s honeymoon already over for ag, it appears

2. Obamacare

So long, Affordable Care Act! Within hours of taking office, Trump signed an executive order to “minimize the economic burden” of Obamacare. For many farm and ranch families who are paying insurance premiums the size of a mortgage, this first move offers a sign of hope for some relief to come in the months ahead.

According to Warner Todd Huston for, “It is still a bit unclear exactly what his order will do, but according to many experts it will undermine the ‘mandate’ that forces all Americans to buy insurance whether they want it (or can afford it) or not. If the mandate is canceled that would gut Obamacare, which only works because everyone is forced to participate. But even if Trump’s order doesn’t do as much as some hope to eliminate Obamacare, it signals his determination to continue dismantling the law. Trump will likely do far more on Obamacare than signing this one order, but it was symbolic for how important he felt the issue was that it became one of his first actions.”

READ: Recapping Donald Trump's spectacular first week in office

3. Energy

While tribal leaders at Standing Rock are urging protesters to go home, we can prepare for protests to continue in North Dakota as Trump reinstated Dakota Access Pipeline construction.

Meanwhile, updates to the White House website indicate Trump’s people have removed Obama’s “Climate Change” section and replaced it with “America First Energy Plan,” indicating Trumps intention to focus on developing coal, oil and other energy streams here in the United States.

4. Hiring freeze

Trump is slashing government jobs and eliminating unnecessary spending in several departments, and the media had a hay day about Trump’s gag on the USDA and EPA. However, as this is typical protocol for most administrations as they transition in and out of office, the fuss was much ado about nothing. Here’s the real story from Reuters.

READ: Ag is Trumped up in the early days of a new administration

While Trump’s first days in office may have gotten mixed reviews from media and the left, the verdict is still out on whether Trump’s initial moves will ultimately be positive for agriculture or not.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Penton Agriculture.

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