Onalaska, Wisconsin - Remarks by Vice President Pence in a Roundtable on USMCA at the Morning Star Dairy Farm:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: First, I’d like to invite everybody to thank John and Barb Schaller for opening up this family farm. (Applause.) Fantastic. Thank you so much.
Thank you for welcoming us to Morning Star Dairy. I feel right at home. I’m a small-town guy from southern Indiana. And I told them we didn’t have dairy cattle when I was growing up, but we had about a hundred head of cattle. And it is great to be on this wonderful farm. I want to congratulate you for your success. I want to thank all of the great farmers that are gathered around here. I really look forward to hearing from you.
But first and foremost, let me say thank you. In a challenging time in the life of our nation, American farmers came through and kept food on the table, and every American is grateful. (Applause.) You did.
It really is remarkable that, literally from the farm to the grocery store, truckers in between, as — leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force, I never fail to be inspired at the way that American agriculture responded. So I want to thank you for that, first and foremost.
And let me also express appreciation from a friend of mine who is a great admirer of the state of Wisconsin and who loves farmers and ranchers all across this country. I bring greetings and gratitude from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
You know, we’re living in challenging times, but American farmers have risen to the challenge. You’ve met this moment, and I want to assure you that, as the President took action from very early on, in January, when he suspended all travel from China; when he stood up the White House Coronavirus Task Force; when we reinvented testing across the country; when we deployed hundreds of millions of supplies that are still being delivered to hospitals, particularly in the Sun Belt states that are still being impacted; the manufacture of equipment, ventilators; medicines known as therapeutics that are being distributed around the country today; and I’ll tell you, with American ingenuity and the great, great pharmaceutical industry we have — I believe with all my heart, before the end of this year, we’re going to have a vaccine and we’re going to put this coronavirus in the past. I truly believe that. (Applause.)
But all of you stepped forward and all of you did what needed to be done to keep food on the table for the American people. It’s been really inspiring for us to watch. And I know it’s been a — I know it’s been a challenging time in the midst of this pandemic for American farmers. Literally, the President and I witnessed many family farms struggling during this time, and it’s one of the reasons why the President made more than $19 billion in assistance available to farmers, including — including $1.1 billion that’s already gone to dairy farms across this country.
And while the trade deal that we’ll talk a bit about today was negotiated before this challenging time, I hope you see, in the USMCA, President Donald Trump fights every day for American farmers and American agriculture. And on the USMCA, we deliver. (Applause.)
I’m also pleased with the relief. Working with the Congress, we were able to provide support for American families. We were able to provide support for American businesses. In fact, the Paycheck Protection Plan, as I’m told, provided more than 86,000 loans to Wisconsin businesses so you could keep employees on the payroll during the difficult days of this pandemic here in this state.
And I also — I know the Paycheck Protection Plan was able to help Morning Star — Morning Star keep your hardworking team on the payroll. And we’re honored to be a part of it.
And in the midst of all of that, we’re opening up America again. I know Wisconsin is opening back up again. I see the enthusiasm as I drove out to the farm today, and on the strong foundation that this President poured in our first three years — the three years that saw the creation of three — of 7 million jobs, where we cut taxes, rolled back regulations, fought for free and fair trade, unleashed American energy.
And the American economy is already coming back. In just the two months of May and June, more than 7 million jobs have been added to this economy. We lost 22 million at the height of the pandemic, but the American economy, in the city and on the farm, is coming back right here in Wisconsin and all over America. (Applause.)
It is a — it is a testament to the foundation that we poured. I love that verse that says, “If the foundations crumble, how can the righteous stand?” It’s that foundation of less taxes, less regulation, a respect for private property, a fighting for free and fair trade that really, I believe, has laid the foundation for the comeback that is underway. And you all have been a part of that. And I want to promise you that we’re going to continue to fight for those things.
Which, I want to say at this event, also is a whole lot different than the competition. I heard even just last week that the Democratic candidate for President, Joe Biden, is actually proposing $4 trillion in higher taxes. He’s proposing a $2 trillion version of the Green New Deal. And I have to tell you, the last thing this economy needs, the last thing this recovery needs is more taxes, more regulation. And the last thing we need is Joe Biden in the White House. So we’re going to be up here in Wisconsin telling that story. (Applause.)
And I have to tell you, the subject of today, this — the USMCA — it’s a great win for American agriculture. But I wanted to come to a dairy farm because it’s been a great win for dairy. And I was literally there every step of the way during the negotiations.
You know, when President Trump ran, and the people of Wisconsin put their confidence in this President four years ago, he promised that we — that we would do better than NAFTA; that he’d been — he thought the North American Free Trade Agreement had — hadn’t put American workers first, hadn’t put American farmers first. And we rolled our sleeves up. And right out of the gate, we started the negotiations.
And one of the things that we learned early on is, in addition to creating incentives to move manufacturing jobs south of the border, we learned about — we learned about programs, particularly in the dairy industry, that were going on in Canada that were working against dairy farmers here in Wisconsin and all across this country.
Canada actually had what was called a Class 6 and a Class 7 program that subsidized certain dairy products and — and literally, I was there, time after time, when literally we were talking — we were talking about manufacturing jobs, we were talking about exports. But in virtually every conversation, President Donald Trump told the leadership in Canada, “We have got to fix this trade deal for American dairy.” And he did it. He did it. (Applause.)
I’m pleased to report to you that that Class 6 and Class
C  program in Canada is going to end in six months. It’s off the books. We’ve leveled the playing field for American dairy. (Applause.)
And, John and Barb, because of the USMCA, we predict within six years the United States is actually going to increase our exports by 50,000 metric tons of milk, 12,000 metric tons of cheese, 10,000 metric tons of cream, and the list goes on. Under the USMCA, Canada also will keep the price of skim milk solids at least as high as America’s prices. So we’re going to maintain a level playing field.
The USMCA is a win for American workers, it’s a win for American famers, it’s a win for American dairy, and it’s just one more example of how President Donald Trump puts America first and always will. (Applause.)
And I’d love to hear how you were all doing, but I just have to mention to you at this event — I was doing a little campaigning down in Ripon, Wisconsin, earlier today where the Republican Party was founded, and I said, “They were founded back in 1854.” And I said: Six years later, they elected the first Republican President of the United States, and four months from now, we’re going to reelect another Republican President of the United States of America when we reelect President Donald Trump for four more years in the White House. Because the choice is that clear. (Applause.)
And for American farmers, again, the contrast between President Trump and Joe Biden and the liberal agenda that the Democrats are advancing couldn’t be more stark when it comes to — I mentioned this President cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms. Joe Biden wants to raise taxes on working families and on businesses across the country.
This President ended the death tax for virtually every American family farmer. And yet, there’s Joe Biden talking about raising taxes by more than Hillary Clinton ever even talked about.
And the avalanche of regulations are going to all take the form of what we all remember to be the Waters of the USA. It was a — it was a direct assault using federal red tape on private property rights. And I couldn’t have been more proud standing among farmers in the West Wing of the White House the day that President Donald Trump signed the repeal of the Waters of the USA and restored private property rights to American agriculture and the American people. (Applause.)
You know, the choice has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher. We have a President who believes in free enterprise and free markets, private property, and the rule of law. He believes in less taxes, less regulation, free and fair trade. And Joe Biden wants more taxes, more regulation, more economic surrender on the world stage.
So the people of Wisconsin knew what to do in 2016, and I believe with all my heart, just like you all did before, that Wisconsin is going to vote for four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House. (Applause.)
So I want to say “thank you” again. I want to say “thank you” for the resilience and the character and strength shown not just by the farmers around this table, but all the farmers that are gathered and any of you that might be looking on.
You know, I’ve long believed that adversity doesn’t create character; adversity reveals character. And the character of the American farmer has really shown forth in the last four months. It was the farmers, the dairy farmers, the production of agriculture — never stopped. Never stopped working, never stopped doing their job. Rolled their sleeves up and made it happen, and kept food on the table for the American people.
I think it’s one of the reasons that — it’s one of the reasons why, when I try to read that Good Book every morning, how often I read about the farmer. The verses often say, “Consider the farmer,” because the truth is that, in these last four months and all throughout the long history of this country, it’s been the faith and the character of the farmer that’s really been a wellspring of American strength.
And so I want to thank you for your inspiration. I want to thank you for your faith. I want to thank you for the way you’ve served the American people during this trying time. And I want to promise you that President Trump and I, and our entire team, are going to work our hearts out in the next four months and in the next four years to advance the prosperity and opportunities for every American farmer and every American rancher. As you stand on that firm foundation, we’re going to make sure that American agriculture is stronger and more prosperous than ever before.
And with four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House, and with American agriculture prospering, and with these challenging days someday soon behind us, we’re going to make America great again, again.
Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) I’m honored to be with you.
With that, I’d just love to hear how everything is going, and maybe we can start with Representative Tony Kurtz, if we can. Tony, tell us how things are here and how we can be more helpful.
(Roundtable discussion begins.)
(Roundtable discussion concludes.)
Let me say to John and Barbara and the family and all the distinguished leaders gathered around here: Thank you for your time today.
Next time we get together, we’re going to — we’re going to hold this roundtable in the cow barn because they said it was actually cooler over there. (Laughter.)
And I want to — I want to thank you all, really and truly. I know I speak on behalf of the President when I say, once again, thank you for the way your character and your faith has shown forth. American agriculture delivered to the American people during the trying times through which we’ve passed, and I know you’ll keep delivering until we reach that day, someday in the future, when the coronavirus is in the past.
So thank you for what you have done. I want to promise you that we’re going to continue to fight for American agriculture. We’re going to continue to make this USMCA a win for American farmers here in Wisconsin and all across this country. And with your continued support, we’ll reelect President Donald Trump for four more years and, like I said before, we’ll make America great again, again.
Thank you all very much. And God bless you. (Applause.) Thank you all.