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Trump orders expanded broadband access in rural U.S.

By Daniel Uria
Trump orders expanded broadband access in rural U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed two executive orders seeking to expand access to broadband in rural areas of the United States after addressing the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention on Monday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump unveiled an agriculture initiative to bring broadband Internet to rural areas of the United States during a speech Monday in Tennessee.

Trump signed two executive orders after addressing the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention in Nashville in response to a report by the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural prosperity.

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"Those towers are going to go up and and you're going to have great, great broadband," Trump told the crowd.

The head of the task force, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, introduced the president, who said the orders will seek to provide "broader, faster and better" Internet coverage.

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"The task force heard from farmers that broadband Internet access is an issue of vital concern to their communities and businesses," he said.

Special Assistant for Technology, Telecommunications, and Cybersecurity at the National Economic Council Grace Koh previously said Trump's executive action will work to use federal assets such as pre-established towers on federal lands as well as dark fiber deployed by agencies to allow rural providers to interconnect and provide service to communities that have not had access to broadband before.

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Trump also noted his administration canceled 1,500 regulatory actions and cut 22 regulations for every new regulation in 2017, stating the deregulation will help improve biotechnology.

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"We're streamlining regulations that have blocked cutting-edge biotechnology, setting free our farmers to innovate, thrive and to grow," Trump said.

The president referenced the passing of the Republican tax reform bill, which included a provision allowing farmers to expense investments, such as equipment, throughout the next four years.

Trump also said family farms will be exempt from the estate tax, which he said would allow families to maintain ownership of their farms.

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Trump said he is working with Congress and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts to pass the expiring farm bill on time, adding he supports a bill that includes crop insurance.

He said he is "working very hard to get a better deal for our country" in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"We are fighting for our farmers ... and we're fighting for our country, and for our great American flag," he said. "In every decision we make, we are honoring America's proud farming legacy."

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