Fred Hubbell, the Democratic candidate for governor, visited four farms this week and Republican Governor Kim Reynolds went two farms in northwest Iowa yesterday — as both candidates emphasize the financial impact of President Trump’s tariffs.
Reynolds said she told Vice President Pence when he was in Iowa on Wednesday that farmers need to see “some positive things happening.”
“Nobody wins in a trade war and it’s important that we get something done and that our farmers and producers and manufacturers see some movement,” Reynolds said. “This is having a devastating impact on Iowa farmers and we’re really interested on growing markets, not contracting them.”
Hubbell said Iowa livestock producers already have lost half a billion dollars because of the trade disputes with China, Mexico and Canada.
“You look at the crops in the field, corn and soybeans today, if they came out at today’s prices, they’re all losing money,” Hubbell said, “and I don’t think it makes sense to hold Iowa farmers, Iowa families, rural Iowa to be the victims of a trade war that didn’t need to happen.”
Hubbell said Reynolds should quit “talking behind closed doors” with Trump Administration officials.
“When I talk to farmers, they don’t know what she’s doing. They don’t hear her saying anything. They don’t see her doing much. She should be holding press conferences,” Hubbell said. “She should be going together will other governors that have the same problem that Iowa does.”
Reynolds said Vice President Pence assured her during their discussion Wednesday that real progress is being made on NAFTA negotiations.
“We need movement,” Reynolds said. “We need something done. We want to support him in his negotiations, but this can’t linger on, especially as we move into August and we’ve got farmers that are trying to sell beans that they have stored…before they go into harvest.”
Reynolds said Iowa farmers know China has taken advantage of the U.S. and something needs to change, but she says the tariffs are having a negative impact. Hubbell said President Trump should have opted for diplomacy or an appeal to the World Trade Organization rather than imposing tariffs.
(Additional reporting by Corey Harguth, KICD, Spencer)