Leading Iowa Republicans stand in opposition to Trump’s tariffs plans

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Iowa’s congressional delegation, including Republican senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, are warning that President Donald Trump’s call for tariffs on steel and aluminum could damage Iowa’s economy, especially farmers are others in the agriculture industry.

The entire Iowa delegation – which also includes Rep. David Young, Rep. Rod Blum, Rep. Dave Loebsack and Rep. Steve King – sent a letter to the president on March 7, expressing their disagreement with the tariffs and urging him to reconsider.

In the letter, they warmed that sweeping new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum “could set into motion a chain of retaliatory measures, hurting Iowans from the family farm to the family-owned manufacturing plant. Tariffs are a tax on families and hardworking Iowans cannot afford a trade war.”

The members emphasized Iowa’s “diverse industries which play a vital role in supporting not only Iowa’s economy, but the entire U.S. economy. Iowa is the second largest agricultural export state, and shipped $10 billion of exports abroad in 2015 alone. Strong, fair trade favors American families and businesses and allows them to export their goods, which is critical for the farmers, manufacturers, and insurers in our state.”

In an interview, reported in the Washington Times, Ernst said she has been seeking to speak with President Trump, but has not been able to.

“I have been placing calls over to the White House,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of calls going to him right now from a number of congressmen, senators, that are displeased about the policy. “I am very, very concerned about the tariff policy that we see coming out right now, because we do export so much of our commodities, our soy beans, our corn, beef, pork.  And the tariffs will have an impact, because we’ll see retaliation coming our way.”

Trump signed orders on Thursday imposing stiff and sweeping new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The initial order did exempt Canada and Mexico for now and could include other exceptions in the future, the White House said.