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Iowa Democrats pound President Trump for alleged damage does to farmers by tariffs


This news story was published on June 12, 2019.
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The following is a bulletin sent by Iowa Democrats on Tuesday, June 11, 2019:

Donald Trump’s Broken Promises Are Failing Iowa Farmers

Donald Trump promised Iowa farmers that he would strengthen trade opportunities and protect the renewable fuel standard. Since he took office, Trump has not only failed to deliver on those promises — his policies have put Iowa’s largest economic industry in the middle of a trade war with no plan to address farmers’ increasing uncertainty of future crops. Here’s a look at how Trump’s careless agenda is impacting farmers and economy:

Trump falsely claimed that China was “now paying us billions” through tariffs. But the truth is the costs of tariffs on U.S. imports was largely picked up by American consumers and retailers, including Iowa companies.

WeAreIowa: “The latest tariff hikes on Chinese goods are starting to have some major consequences for businesses here in Iowa. ‘We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know how bad it was going to be.’ Brad Overholser is talking about the so called trade war. If it continues, ‘it will force people like me out of business.’”

For over a year, Trump has promised farmers they would be better off after the U.S.-China trade dispute, but Iowa farmers are still waiting with no solution in sight.

Bloomberg: ‘There’ll be a little work to be done, but the farmers will be better off than they ever were,’ Trump told reporters Monday during a cabinet meeting at the White House.”

ABC News: “‘We’ll make it up to them. And, in the end, they’re going to be much stronger than they are right now,’ Trump said of farmers back on April 9th after China threatened tariffs on pork and soybeans in retaliating against US tariffs.”

Trump has dismissed farmersconcerns about the ongoing trade war that has already left Iowa farmers with the highest level of agriculture debt in the country, and could cost them $2.2 billion in lost profits and depressed ethanol export opportunities.

Trump: “But, ultimately — but they had farmers, and these guys are amazing; I love them. And they voted for me and they love me. And they said, ‘We don’t care if we get hurt.  He’s doing the right thing.’” (September 26, 2018 press conference)

Tim Bardole, Rippey farmer: “We just keep hunkering down and doing what we can to reduce costs as much as possible, and digging into reserves, and borrowing more money and using up equity,’ Bardole said over the phone, adding that the entire industry is doing the same. ‘We really need some sort of resolution,’ he added. ‘Farmers live and die on trade.’”

Washington Post: ‘A Punch In The Gut’: Farmers Hit By Tariffs See Crops Swept Away By Flood

Farmers struggling under Trump’s trade policies were forced to wait months on bailout payments because of his unnecessary government shutdown, prolonging concerns about future crops.

Aaron Lehman, Polk City farmer: “It’s not worth putting up the wall to put us in this situation. We’re used to weather factors being out of our control. We try to deal with those the best we can. The patience runs thin for farmers when it seems like there are… crisis that’s invented or something that can be completely avoided. That makes no sense. It really makes farmers exasperated.’”

Trump made campaign promises to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard, but his actions as president don’t match up.

Trump at a campaign rally in Des Moines: “The farmers are being left out in the cold. Family farms are the backbone of this country. We are going to end the EPA intrusion into your family homes and your family farms. We are going to protect the renewable fuel standard. Corn based ethanol.” (September 13, 2016)

Even his long-overdue expansion of E-15 sales is little more than an empty gesture until the administration stops granting renewable fuel standards waivers to big oil companies — a maneuver that has been dramatically expanded by Trump’s EPA.

Associated Press: “Some ethanol industry leaders and lawmakers said that while the change was welcome, the EPA’s practice under the Trump administration of granting ethanol-blending waivers to oil refineries is still hurting ethanol producers and corn growers.”

The Des Moines Register: “The ethanol industry says the exemptions, historically granted only to small, financially distressed oil companies, have been awarded to companies that included giants such as Exxon Mobile and Chevron Corp.  The waivers have destroyed demand for about 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol, which would require about 1 billion bushels of corn to produce, experts say.”

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