Iowa Delegation Asks Trump to Reconsider Aluminum/Steel Tariffs
King expresses concern retaliatory trade measures could hurt Iowa Agriculture, Manufacturing
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King announces that he has joined with the members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation on a letter to President Trump requesting that the President reconsider his proposal to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The signatories to the letter expressed their concerns that trading partners affected by the President’s proposed tariffs will enact retaliatory trade measures that will hurt Iowa’s economy. Iowa is the second largest agricultural export state, and shipped over $10 billion in agriculture products abroad in 2015. The letter was signed by all six members of the Iowa delegation: Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and King’s fellow Congressmen, David Young, Rod Blum, and Dave Loebsack.
“The delegation is bringing our concerns about Iowa’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors facing retaliatory measures from our trading partners to the President’s attention in hopes he doesn’t follow through on his threats to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum,” said King. “Ag exports and manufacturing are two key drivers of Iowa’s economy, and President Trump needs to know that the Iowa delegation is united around the belief that he should reconsider his proposed course of action.”
The delegation letter can be read here or below.
Text of Delegation Letter to President Trump:
March 7, 2018
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
As Members of Congress who represent Iowa, we understand the importance of free and fair trade to Iowa’s strong agricultural economy. We urge you to carefully consider and analyze the economic costs and benefits of your plan to impose new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
We are concerned such a move 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.
Iowa is comprised of 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.
We are extremely worried the proposed tariffs will have a negative impact on our agricultural economy. Many experts have warned tariffs will cause corresponding retaliation by our trading partners. This is concerning because the easiest target for retaliation is our agriculture exports. For example, the United States enjoys a large agricultural trade surplus with China and recently began exporting U.S. beef, which is a good indication of China’s interest in expanding agricultural imports. Iowa’s major exports to China include soybeans, corn, and pork – 60 percent of Iowa’s soybeans go to China. As farmers have already faced several years of low commodity prices, any hit to demand would be devastating to their financial situations.
Besides the impact such tariffs could have on Iowa agricultural exports, imported steel and aluminum products are used to keep farm operations going while manufacturers use these products as inputs in their industrial processes. While we recognize there is excess global capacity for steel and aluminum, the overall impacts must be part of the administration’s calculus when best deciding how to engage.
We urge you, Mr. President, to reconsider this proposal given the consequences this will have on states like Iowa, rural communities throughout the nation, and on America’s farms.