EXECUTIVE

Trump orders Agriculture Dept. to end unnecessary regulations, help farmers

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday telling the Agriculture Department to identify and eliminate potentially unnecessary regulations that “hurt farmers and rural communities.”

The order is similar to those Trump has previously signed for top-level agencies and comes one day after former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Trump's agriculture secretary.

“America’s noble farming tradition stretches back to our earliest days,” Trump said.

The order also establishes a task force that will review policies, legislation and regulations that potentially hurt agricultural and economic growth.

“You people are going to be so prosperous and hire more people,” Trump said after his White House roundtable discussion with farmers and signing the order.

He also suggested the order is part of a larger concern about domestic output and trade, particularly Canada recently deciding to change its policy on pricing domestic milk, leading to lower prices for products and creating problems for U.S. dairy farmers.

“I love Canada, but they’ve outsmarted our lawmakers for a long time,” he said. “They have a tremendous surplus with the United States. I have no fear.”

Trump’s administration also moved Monday to impose a 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber entering the U.S. from Canada, escalating an intensifying trade dispute between the two countries.

Trump is signing a flurry of executive orders this week as he approaches his 100th day in office and looks to rack up accomplishments to tout.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.