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May 1, 2017 4:00 AM, EDT

Editorial: Mr. President, Meet Maureen Torrey

This Editorial appears in the May 1 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

The first 100 days of the Trump presidency have come and gone, and while that may be an arbitrary timeframe for evaluating achievement, there’s no denying the fact that the White House has become the epicenter for debate over where we go from here.

Again last week, we saw the president sign an executive order, this one creating a task force to look at cutting regulations for farmers and promoting economic development in rural America.

What happens next is not clear, but we applaud Trump for using the occasion to meet with people such as Maureen Torrey, a farmer and fleet owner from upstate New York who was able to express her frustration with mounting federal regulations of trucking and food producers. And she also was able to impress upon Trump the need for action on infrastructure.

“I believe the president appreciates how important agriculture is to the overall well-being of this country,” Torrey said in a statement to United Fresh Produce Association, where she once served as chairman.

The best thing, though, is the president’s commitment to improve the nation’s infrastructure, which in rural America means more than roads and bridges and includes modernization of locks in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and expanded broadband capabilities.

“Agriculture needs trucks,” Torrey told Transport Topics a day after she returned to her farm in western New York after meeting with Trump. “We’re in this together.”

Just a few weeks ago, Trump met with trucking industry executives and members of America’s Road Team, ostensibly to talk about health care, but which also provided a forum to discuss the need to fund infrastructure and other key issues.

Media pundits may debate the significance of Trump’s actions in office these past 100 days, but it is the president’s willingness to meet with people and to bring them in to be a part of developing solutions to problems that is refreshing and is one reason that optimism among business leaders is so high.

The latest poll conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers shows that 93% of member companies surveyed are optimistic about the business outlook, the highest level in the 20-year history of the survey and up from just 56.6% a year ago.

NAM President Jay Timmons attributed the buoyant outlook to Trump’s “laser-like focus on pursuing bold action, particularly rethinking red tape to address regulatory reform, to accelerate a jobs surge in America.”

To that, we say Amen.