Thursday, March 14, 2019

1600 Daily The White House • March 14, 2019 President Trump’s response to the Senate national emergency vote

1600 Daily
The White House • March 14, 2019

President Trump’s response to the Senate national emergency vote 

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signed a resolution to disapprove of President Donald J. Trump’s national emergency for the crisis on our southern border.

The President had a one-word response for the Democrat-led bill: “VETO!”

The stakes couldn’t be clearer, as Vice President Mike Pence laid out in an interview with Fox News. “A vote against the President's national emergency declaration is a vote to deny the humanitarian and security crisis that's happening at our southern border.”

This morning, three state Attorneys General explained the Constitutional authority President Trump used in declaring the national emergency. “Unlike President Barack Obama, who unlawfully used executive power to create new laws or rewrite laws Congress enacted, President Trump is lawfully using executive power to address a crisis worsened by congressional inaction,” Ken Paxton (R-TX), Curtis Hill (R-IN), and Jeff Landry (R-LA) write.

“The facts matter — these facts show the president has acted lawfully and within the scope of discretion Congress and the people vested in him. Congress should support President Trump.”

Share President Trump’s response to Congressional Democrats. 

Watch: Even The Washington Post knows there is a crisis on the border

A St. Patrick’s Day tradition at the White House

A longstanding tradition lives on today as President Trump welcomes the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, to the White House. Since 1952, Ireland has presented the President of the United States with a box of shamrocks to kick off the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  

“It’s a great honor to have the Prime Minister of Ireland. We’ve become fast friends,” President Trump said today from the Oval Office. “Very, very special country.”

Earlier this evening, President Trump joined Prime Minister Varadkar for the traditional shamrock bowl presentation. And at a “Friends of Ireland” luncheon this afternoon, the President gave tribute to the holiday’s namesake. “May we draw new strength from the noble example of Saint Patrick. And may we all be blessed by the luck of the Irish.”

Watch tonight’s shamrock bowl presentation.

A look back: St. Patrick’s Day and Irish heritage in American history

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks
The South Lawn fountain is dyed green in celebration of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's visit to the White House | March 14, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary


Oval Office

10:55 A.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much.  It's a great honor to have the Prime Minister of Ireland.  We've become fast friends.  We've had some very, very good transactions taking place on trade and other things.

     As you know, he's in a very complicated position right now because of Brexit.  You're going to have to tell me what's happening.  You're going to have to, perhaps, tell the world what's happening because I'm not sure anybody knows.

     But very, very special country.  So many friends.  And you're doing a great job.  Very popular man doing a wonderful job.  The people love him, and that's very important.  And thank you very much for being with us.  Thank you, Leo.

     PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  Mr. President, just wanted to say thanks very much for meeting us again.  It's an enormous privilege for Ireland, as a small country, to have this annual meeting on account of St. Patrick's Day, and it's a chance to make even closer and tighter the bonds between the U.S. and Ireland.

     I particularly want to thank you for your help with Aughinish --


PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  -- with the plans in the west of Ireland where hundreds of jobs were threatened as a result of the Russian sanctions.  And with the help of the administration, we were able to save those jobs.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's right.

PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  So, thank you very much for that.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They don't -- they don't know about that.

PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  (Laughs.)  They do now.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They don't know about what I do for other people.

PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  And I look forward to talking to you later about Brexit, giving you our perspective on it and the real importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the really hard-won peace in Northern Ireland.

And I look forward to talking to you a little bit about immigration, as well, and also about trade and how much I would like to see a trade deal done between the U.S. and the EU.  We've done one with Japan.  We've done one with Canada.  And we'd love to strike a deal with the U.S., too.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Okay, well, we'll see.  Because the EU, as you know, has been very tough to deal with, and frankly, they've been -- it's been very one-sided for many, many years.  And so we're changing that around, and we're starting to maybe get somewhere.  And if we don't, we'll win anyway.  But I do appreciate your saying that.  And again, it's a great honor to have you.  Fantastic country.

Q    Mr. President, do you support Ireland's position on Brexit?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I'm not going to comment on Brexit.  I can tell you it's a very complex thing that's going on right now.  It's tearing a country apart.  It's actually tearing a lot of countries apart.  And it's a shame that it has to be that way.  But I think we will stay right in our lane.

We're doing fantastically as a country.  Our economy is booming.  We're the envy of the world.  Other economies are not doing well and we're doing record business, so we're very happy about that.  And it's really great to have the Prime Minister of Ireland with us.

Q    Mr. President, any reaction to Beto O'Rourke?  Your reaction to Beto O'Rourke's announcement today, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think he's got a lot of hand movement.  I've never seen so much hand movement.  I said, "Is he crazy, or is that just the way he acts?"  So, I've never seen hand movement.  I watched him a little while this morning doing, I assume, it was some kind of a news conference.  And I've actually never seen anything quite like it.  Study it.  I'm sure you'll agree.

Q    Mr. President, who's the bigger threat: Beto O'Rourke or Joe Biden?  Who's the bigger threat: Beto O'Rourke or Joe Biden?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I just say, whoever it is, I'll take them on.  Okay?  Him or her.  Whoever it is, I'll take him or her on.

And I think with the economy doing so well, with all of the things we've done with the tax cuts -- the biggest in the history of our country -- tax cuts; with people having a lot more money in their pocket.  With their 401(k)s hitting record numbers, they've never had -- they've never been considered great investors by their wives or by their husbands, whatever it may be, and now they're considered great investments.

But the market is hitting almost new highs, and I have all of the records -- every single record, I have.  Every single record for the stock market.

So I think it's going to be very tough to beat.  If you look at African American, if you look at Hispanic or Asian unemployment, we have the best records in history.  In the history of unemployment, we have the best records.

So I think it's going to be tough for somebody.  But you know what?  Whoever it is, it makes no difference to me whatsoever.

Q    Are you going to visit Ireland this year?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I will.  I'll be coming at some point during the year.  I missed it last time and I would have loved to have been there.  And it's a special place.  And I have a very warm spot for Doonbeg, I will tell you that.  And it's just a great place.  Really, a great place.

Q    Mr. President, yesterday you made your decision about the Boeing planes.  How long do you think that they will be grounded and --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Oh, I hope it's going to be for a short period of time, and I hope it's -- look, they have to find out what it is.  The biggest thing is they have to find out what it is.  I'm not sure that they know.  But I thought we had to do it.  We had to take a cautionary route.  The grounding of the planes yesterday was a big thing, as you know.  And you're involved with Boeing also.

PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  Yeah.  We've done the same.  Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  The grounding was a big thing.  And it's a great company.  It's a truly great company.  And hopefully they'll figure it out very quickly.

It was a big decision.  It's also one of our largest exporters, one of our -- you know, truly -- one of the truly great companies of the world.  They have to figure it out fast.  They know that.  They're under great pressure.

Q    Mr. President, you were a great supporter of Brexit initially.  Are you still a great supporter of Brexit given how things are playing out?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I was.  It wasn’t that I was a supporter.  I predicted it was going to happen, and I was right.  And people laughed when I predicted it, and they won by about two points.  And I was standing out on Turnberry, and we had a press conference, and people were screaming.  That was the day before, if you remember.  I think you were there.  And people were screaming, and I said, "No, I think it's going to happen."  And people were surprised I made the prediction because President Obama made the opposite prediction.  And I was right.  And I will tell you, I'm surprised at how badly it's all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation.

     But I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it.  And I think you would've been successful.  She didn’t listen to that, and that's fine.  I mean, she's got to do what she's got to do.  But I think it could've been negotiated in a different manner, frankly.  I hate to see it being -- everything being ripped apart right now.  I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won.  They'd say, "What do you mean you're going to take another vote?"  So that would be tough.

     But I thought it would happen.  It did happen.  And both sides are very, very -- you know, they're cemented in.  It's a tough situation.  It's a shame.  Frankly, it's a shame.  There was no reason for that to happen.  They could've had the vote, and it should've gone smoothly.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  It's a very complicated issue.  And actually, the issue on the border of Ireland is one of the most complex points.

     Q    Absolutely.

     Q    Do you think it should be extended to get more time to get a deal?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think they're going to probably have to do something because right now they're in the midst of a very short period of time, the end of the month.  And they're not going to be able to do that.  So it's going be (inaudible.)

     But I'd like to see -- I would like to see --

Q    (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Excuse me.  I'd like to see that whole situation with Brexit work out.  I'd like to see -- so, you know, we're talking to them about trade.  And we can do a very big trade deal with the UK.  We're also renegotiating our trade deal with the European groups and, you know, literally, individual nations, and also with the whole.

But it's very sad to see what's happening there.  And there was no reason -- and I'm sure -- Leo, I'm sure you agree with that.  Do you have any feeling on -- would you like to express your feelings on Brexit?

     PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  Yeah, well --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Maybe I should not let you do it.  I'll just get you in trouble.  (Laughter.)

     PRIME MINISTER VARADKAR:  Yeah, well, we have a different opinion, President.  I regret that Brexit is happening.  And the UK was a really important part of the European Union.  But they're going now, and that's their decision.  But the most important thing for us in Ireland is that their decision to leave shouldn’t cause any problems in Northern Ireland, where people actually voted to stay, and that we shouldn’t have a hard border or anything to disrupt the peace process.  And also, we want to make sure that we still have frictionless trade between Britain and Ireland, because I believe in free trade.

And I think it will be a few years until the United Kingdom sorts itself out, but in the meantime, the European Union is available to talk trade with the U.S.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Right.  And we’re talking about trade with the European Union.  They've been very, very tough over the years.  They were unwilling to negotiate with the Obama administration, and they were unwilling before that, to be honest.  I'm not just blaming President Obama.

But they're willing to talk to us.  And if they don’t talk to us, we're going to do something that's going to be pretty severe, economically.  We're going to tariff a lot of their products coming in.  Because the European Union treats us very, very unfairly, I have to say that.  Very, very.  They treat the United States -- and they have been for many years -- for decades, they've treated us very unfairly.

     So it will probably work out.  They're negotiating.  They want to see if they can get -- otherwise, we're going to do something that's going to be good for the United States.

     Q    Mr. President, considering the vote today in the Senate, will you consider your -- re-consider your national emergency?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, no.  I don’t know what the vote will be.  It doesn’t matter.  I'll probably have to veto, and it's not going to be overturned.  And we're going to have our whole thing -- it's been -- the legal scholars all say it's totally constitutional.

It's very important.  It's really a border security vote.  It's -- pure and simple, it's a vote for border security, it's a vote for no crime.  See, we have a border situation also, but it's slightly different than yours.  Ours is not actually complex.  We have very, very bad laws that are archaic, that were put in by Democrats.  And the Republicans didn’t fight hard enough at the time.  That was a long time before me.  But we have catch and release, and we have chain migration, and we have all sorts of things that are horrible.  And the world is laughing at the laws that were passed with respect to us.

     And we are going to have a very strong border very soon.  We're building a lot of wall.  There's a lot of wall going up.  I don't know if you see it.  I don't know if you want to see it.  But we're building a lot of wall, and there's a lot of contracts being let out, actually tomorrow and over the next week, for additional many, many miles of wall.  And we're going to have hundreds of miles of wall up fairly soon, and it's going to make a very big difference.

But we also have to change the laws.  Because whether it's visa lottery, whether it's chain migration, whether it's catch and release, or anything else, they are horrible, horrible laws.

I want to just commend our Border Patrol and ICE, what they've been doing.  Border Patrol -- and our military, by the way, who's been fantastic.  We've building -- we're building a lot of the barbed wire areas where people were pouring through; they're not going through.  They are -- they have done a fantastic job.  We've built some temporary fencing and we've built some permanent fencing with the military.  They have done a fantastic job.

But the Border Patrol, they are capturing, catching, grabbing -- they're doing whatever they have to do -- thousands of people -- thousands of illegal aliens a month.  Seventy-five thousand last month.  The job they're doing, they're apprehending -- you call it whatever you want to use; whatever you'd like to use -- but they're apprehending thousands and thousands of people a month.

And we're catching them and we're keeping them.  We're not doing release.  Now, at a certain point, we're going to have to do some release because we don't have the bed space, we don't have the room, and we don't have the funds to build new space because we have ridiculous laws.

In other countries, Leo, when you have somebody come in illegally, you say, "Sorry, you have to leave."  In our country, because the laws are so ridiculous -- I mean, so stupid -- we have to give them a trial.  So we send them into the country and then they're supposed to come back, but they never come back.  Very rarely do they come back.

The most ridiculous set of laws.  The Democrats' fault.  We want to change them.  Unfortunately, we need their votes too.  And I think it's going to be a great election issue.

Okay, anything else?

Q    Are your immigrations policies cruel?


Q    Are your immigration policies cruel?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I don't think they're cruel.  I think they're the opposite of cruel.  They've become cruel because they're so ridiculous and it hurts people.  It actually does the reverse of what they're supposed to be doing.  But, no, they're actually meant to be the opposite and they're hurting people.  They're really hurting people.  A lot of people.  And --

     Q    Is it hurting your reputation (inaudible) country's reputation?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And -- and I think that we have done an incredible job.  We're apprehending record numbers of people.

    But if we had border security, if we had the wall, if we had a proper wall -- which we're building now, as we speak, and we're getting a lot more funding for it, as you know, in what we're talking about in the vote today.  Whether it's positive or not, I'm vetoing it unless I don't have to veto.  I think that's unlikely.  I'll do a veto; it's not going to be overturned.

     But we have done a great job at the border through apprehension.  But we shouldn't have to be put in a position of apprehending 75,000 people a month.  We shouldn’t be in that position.

     Thank you all very much.  I love being with the Prime Minister of Ireland.  Thank you very much.

     Q    What are the prospects now on the summit with President Xi this month or next month?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We're doing very well with China talks.  China talks are doing very well.  We'll see what happens.  If it's not a deal that's a great deal for us, we're not going to make it.  But I would say that we're moving along at a very high level.  We're getting what we have to get, and I think we're getting it relatively quickly.
     So the China talks are moving along.  As to whether or not we'll strike a final deal, that I would never want to say.  But they're moving along very well.

     Q    Mr. President, did you intervene in Jared Kushner's security clearance and Ivanka Trump's security clearance?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.   

     Q    What advice did you give Theresa May that she didn't take?


     Q    What advice did you give the British Prime Minister that she didn't take?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I just told her what I would do and how I would do it.  But she has her own way of doing it.  She is -- she's got her own way of doing it.  That's okay.

     Thank you, everybody.

     Q    Would you appoint a peace envoy, Mr. President -- a peace envoy for Northern Ireland?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We may very well be doing that.

     Q    You may very well be doing what?


     Q    What was that last question?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, you wouldn't be interested.  You're Irish.  

                             END                11:11 A.M. EDT    



Office of the Press Secretary


U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.


12:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Father, very much.  It's a great honor to be here.  This is my third one.  It's happening so fast.  Who would have thought?  The first I remember, the second I remember very well, and this is third.  So, time flies.

But, Madam Speaker, I want to thank you very much for that -- those lovely remarks.  And congratulations on the Irish grandchildren.  (Laughter.)  That's pretty good.

Also, I want to thank our Vice President, Mike Pence, who's with us today.  (Applause.)  To all of the distinguished members of Congress, of which we actually have many, and our many wonderful Irish friends, as we begin our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

This afternoon, we're delighted to join all in welcoming Taoiseach, who I've gotten to know very well.  My friend.  We discussed a lot of things that were of great interest to all of us just a little while ago in the Oval Office.  In particular, we talked about Brexit, a -- something that's turning out to be a little more complex than they thought it would be.  But it will all work out.  Everything does.  One way or the other, it's going to work out.  But you had a very interesting view on it, and I appreciate your letting me know what's going on over there.  Very, very tough situation.

I also want to thank Ireland's Ambassador, Daniel Mulhall.  Thank you very much, Daniel.  I appreciate it.  And the entire Irish delegation for being with us today.

The United States and Ireland are bound together by ties of both kinship and friendship.  It's really a great friendship.  It's a friendship like rarely does any country have with another.  Our citizens share an abiding love of faith, family, and freedom.  Today, our relationship is as strong and resilient as the great Irish people are strong and resilient.

Since America’s founding, men and women of Irish descent have strengthened our nation beyond measure.  In every war since the American Revolution, Irish Americans have fought with distinction to win our independence, to preserve our union, and defend our way of life.  And nobody has done it like the Irish.  They do it with flair.  They do it with brilliance.  They've moved our hearts with timeless works of art, literature, and music.

Irish Americans have also answered the call to serve our nation at the highest levels of government.  And you look at the  United States Supreme Court, you look in the halls of Congress, and throughout my administration: A lot of Irish.  They're all over the place.  Right, Mike?  (Laughter.)  As an example, Mike, you have your sister, Annie, here today.  Where is Annie?  Annie, very nice to have you.  That's very good.  (Applause.)  And you're serious Irish.  That's what I'm hearing.  (Laughter.)  Anyway, nice to have you, Annie.  Thank you.

Many members of Congress in the room also trace their roots to Ireland, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.  Kevin, thank you very much.  What a good job you're doing.  How's he doing, Nancy?  Okay?  (Laughter.)  Huh?  You have a little advantage.  She has a little advantage, but that's okay.  But he's doing okay.  (Laughter.)  Good.  Thank you, Kevin, very much.

Senator Pat Leahy.  Patrick, thank you very much.  Appreciate it.  And co-chairs of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, Richie Neal and Peter King.  Richie, thank you very much.  Where's Peter?  Where is Peter?  Peter, thank you very much.  We see each other here and lots of other places.  And you're doing a great job.  Thank you very much, Peter.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  (Inaudible) from Queens.

THE PRESIDENT:  And from Queens, too.  (Laughter.)  On top of everything, from Queens.

This afternoon, we're also proudly joined by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and --


THE PRESIDENT:  Steny, thank you very much.  Steny, stand up.  Come on, Steny.  You've worked hard.  (Laughter and applause).  Come on, stand up, Steny.  (Applause.)  Okay.  Thank you.  Thank you, Steny.

And Congressman Eliot Engel.  Thank you very much.  Thanks, Eliot.  I appreciate it very much.  They really have worked very hard on a lot of issues and some pertaining specifically to Ireland.  And we appreciate it very much.  Thank you, Eliot. 

Since the 7th [17th] century, St. Patrick’s Day has honored the legacy of Ireland’s patron saint, a man of profound humility and faith, whose selfless service is an inspiration to us all.

On St. Patrick’s Day 1937, President Roosevelt noted that, “In times of plenty and in times of famine, Ireland, and the descendants of Ireland, have been faithful to the heritage of St. Patrick.”  That's right.

Today, we reaffirm our enduring gratitude for the profound contributions, extraordinary service, and unyielding spirit of the Irish people.  As the United States and Ireland grow ever closer in friendship and partnership -- and we are, indeed, growing closer.  We're doing trade deals, we're doing things that we, frankly, have not done to this extent before.  May we find inspiration in the example of those who came before.  May we draw new strength from the noble example of Saint Patrick.  And may we all be blessed by the luck of the Irish.  That's a good thing, "the luck of the Irish."

Mr. Prime Minister, thank you again for joining us.  You had a very long and good trip.  And we really appreciate that you're here.  And please give our warmest and best regards to all of the great and wonderful people of Ireland.  Thank you very much.  Please.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Leo.  Thank you very much.

                        END                12:31 P.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary



“This use of executive action is part of the core duties of the president — to protect the borders of our country. In doing so, he properly invoked power that Congress expressly granted him to deal with a national crisis.”

Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration is constitutional

By Attorneys General Ken Paxton, Curtis Hill, and Jeff Landry
USA Today
March 14, 2019

President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration is a proper use of executive power to protect our country’s borders and keep Americans safe. Unfortunately, the crisis at the southern border is one that only the federal government may truly solve. With no solutions coming from Congress, the president is faithfully executing the duties of his office by invoking a law Congress already passed: the National Emergencies Act (NEA).

In declaring a state of emergency pursuant to the NEA, President Trump is using pre-existing statutory authority to address a legitimate crisis created by lawless conduct at and beyond our southern border. This emergency declaration is not a case of the president relieving himself of restrictions under the law. To the contrary, our president is protecting our country’s borders through means contemplated by Congress and used many times by past presidents for matters less directly threatening than those present on the southern border.

The NEA gives the president broad authority. In fact, Congress did not define “national emergency” in the NEA, leaving it entirely at the president’s discretion to determine what constitutes such an emergency. But any president who makes such a declaration must tell Congress the statutory authority upon which he is relying, as President Trump has done here. The president’s action is neither new nor extraordinary.

As state attorneys general, we are the chief legal officers of our states, with the duty to defend our sovereigns from federal overreach. We have been quick to challenge executive actions that exceed the president’s lawful authority.

President Trump’s emergency declaration to address the crisis at the southern border is much different than the kinds of executive action we challenged in the past. Unlike President Barack Obama, who unlawfully used executive power to create new laws or rewrite laws Congress enacted, President Trump is lawfully using executive power to address a crisis worsened by congressional inaction. That is a stark difference but not the only one: This use of executive action is part of the core duties of the president — to protect the borders of our country. In doing so, he properly invoked power that Congress expressly granted him to deal with a national crisis.

The facts matter — these facts show the president has acted lawfully and within the scope of discretion Congress and the people vested in him. Congress should support President Trump.

Read the full op-ed here.

West Wing Reads - State Attorneys General: Donald Trump's National Emergency Declaration is Constitutional

West Wing Reads

State Attorneys General: Donald Trump's National Emergency Declaration is Constitutional

“President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration is a proper use of executive power to protect our country’s borders and keep Americans safe,” state Attorneys General Ken Paxton (R-TX), Curtis Hill (R-IN), and Jeff Landry (R-LA) write in USA Today.

“Unfortunately, the crisis at the southern border is one that only the federal government may truly solve. With no solutions coming from Congress, the president is faithfully executing the duties of his office by invoking a law Congress already passed: the National Emergencies Act.”

Click here to read more.
Police in the San Francisco Bay Area arrested a criminal illegal immigrant for the brutal slaying of a 59-year-old woman, NBC Bay Area reports. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said agents tried to deport the suspect “nine times before, but their detainer requests were not honored in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties, both so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’”
“United States Customs and Border Protection said a human smuggler dropped two children over the U.S.-Mexico border wall and created a diversion that allowed 10 others to cross illegally,” Rafael Avitabile reports for NBC San Diego. “The agency said a human smuggler dropped two El Salvadorian girls, ages 6 and 9, near a bank of concertina wire in U.S. territory Monday night. According to the CBP, as agents vacated their patrol posts to respond, 10 people crossed the border illegally at another location and eluded agents.”
“The U.S. trade deficit for goods hit a record high in 2018, but critics wrongly blame this on a failure of President Donald Trump’s trade policies,” White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro writes in USA Today. “Gross domestic product growth of 3 percent in 2018, coupled with a rapid rise in real wages and the lowest unemployment in 50 years, boosted import demand even as slower growth in markets like Europe suppressed U.S. exports. The robust Trump economy is one of the deficit’s biggest drivers.”


Office of the Press Secretary

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On National Agriculture Day, we acknowledge the immeasurable value farmers, ranchers, growers, producers, and foresters contribute to our Nation.  America's agriculture families and communities lead the world in producing food, feed, fuel, and fiber.  Today, we pay tribute to the men and women who expand opportunities for prosperity, economic development, and food security by cultivating the land across our country.

American agriculture strengthens our economy.  Valued at more than $141 billion, our country's agriculture exports are critical to our Nation's job market, with every $1 billion in exports supporting approximately 8,400 American jobs.  Counting for approximately 5.5 percent of our gross domestic product, our agriculture, food, and related industries are vital to our Nation's global economic success.  Accordingly, my Administration is working to modernize and improve trade agreements to remove barriers and open foreign markets to goods grown and produced here in the United States.  Last year, I made good on my promise to renegotiate the outdated and unbalanced North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  Once approved by the Congress, the USMCA will help farmers, especially dairy producers, have improved access to markets for their products by lifting unfair restrictions by Canada on American dairy, wheat, and wine producers.

We must continue to streamline our regulatory environment so that agricultural innovation can flourish and help our farmers, ranchers, and foresters meet the world's growing demand for food.  My Administration, therefore, is streamlining regulatory policy for biotechnology, removing the red tape that is slowing down the approval of powerful new agriculture products.  We are also committed to training and supporting the next generation of farmers and agriculture professionals through technical assistance programs so that they have the knowhow to harness the full potential of our Nation's abundant technological and national resources.

To help ensure the continued success, stability, and prosperity of our Nation's farmers, ranchers, and producers, I signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.  This legislation bolsters farm safety-net programs, supports expanded markets for America's agricultural production, promotes active management of natural resources, and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives.  In addition, a key provision in the law requires the Federal Communications Commission to work with the Department of Agriculture to boost broadband deployment and adoption in rural areas.  This initiative will provide more farmers, ranchers, and rural communities access to next-generation digital technologies that enhance profitability and sustainability, greatly improving quality of life for all Americans.

The American farmer embodies the timeless virtues of our Nation:  hard work, self-reliance, and dedication to family.  On this National Agriculture Day, we express our gratitude to those who feed and clothe us, fuel our economy, and inspire us with their determination and perseverance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 14, 2019, as National Agriculture Day.  I encourage all Americans to observe this day by recognizing the preeminent role that agriculture plays in our daily lives, acknowledging agriculture's continuing importance to rural America and our country's economy, and expressing our deep appreciation of farmers, growers, ranchers, producers, national forest system stewards, private agricultural stewards, and those who work in the agriculture sector across the Nation.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

                        DONALD J. TRUMP