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President Trump Asks Farmers for Their Patience
Peosta, Iowa, population 1,500, got its moment of fame today when President Trump stopped by for a visit. He brought along an entourage that included his daughter, Ivanka, plus his secretaries of commerce and labor, and several state-level officials from Iowa.
In a roundtable format at Northeast Iowa Community College (NEICC), the president spoke for 30 minutes to a friendly audience of about 200 Republican supporters. The purpose was partly to campaign for Congressman Rod Blum and also to draw attention to a new workforce development jobs bill that is working its way through Congress.
Championed largely by Ivanka Trump, it will provide training funds for technical jobs such as welding, building, computer science, and other in-demand jobs. The training will take place at community colleges, such as NEICC, across the country.
Trump wasn’t here to talk specifically about farming or farm trade issues, but those topics were high on the minds of many attendees, including a number of farmers. While he didn’t take any audience or press questions, the president told the farmers who are worried about trade wars to be patient: Goods news is coming.
Here are some of the farm-related highlights from the president’s speech.
On trade deals and Canada: “None of the trade deals we had were any good. They were all bad. So, we’re making new ones. Take Canada, for instance. I love Canada, but they have a 375% tax on our dairy products going there. And we run a $97.8 billion trade deficit with Canada. They try to spin it and turn it into a surplus, but it’s not. It’s a deficit.”
On trade with Europe: “We just opened up Europe to U.S. farmers. I met with the European Union minister yesterday, and we signed a letter of intent to start a new relationship with them. I said to them, ‘Go buy our soybeans, no tariffs.’ It’s going to be really good for farmers. Europe is going to be very, very good. Believe me, you’re not going to be unhappy with Trump now.”
On tariffs, in general: “The problem we have is, some country has a 50% tariff on our goods and we have none on them. So, then we put on a 50% tariff and they get upset like it’s our fault. Let me tell you, some of these tariffs they put on us are like 200% or 250%.”
On the future of ethanol: “I’m taking care of your ethanol, you can believe me on that. Nobody else did that, but we are taking care of ethanol.”
On jobs and economic growth: “We've created 3.7 million new jobs since the election of 2016. Wages are trending up for the first time in 19 years. So many companies are moving back to the U.S. And they need people to operate their incredible machines, and we’re training them right here [NEICC]. When we took over, things were bad. Companies and jobs were leaving the U.S. Economic growth was low. Nobody believed we could do what we’ve done. But now some people think our GDP will show growth of somewhere between 3.8% and 5.3%. [New government statistics are due tomorrow, July 27]. Can you believe that, maybe over 5%! Hey, we’ll take anything with a 4 in front.”
On the future: “We have to keep this momentum going. Some people want to end the tax cuts that we enacted. We can’t do that; it would just kill this whole thing. Let’s keep this incredible phenomena going.”