Farmers in Iowa say they’re still backing President Donald Trump, despite the U.S.-China trade war that is hitting their industry hard.
“He’s doing a good job and trying to make sure we’re treated fairly,” Kevin Prevo, a fifth-generation farmer from Bloomfield, Iowa, told The Wall Street Journal while at the Iowa State Fair. He said he voted for Trump in 2016 and that “you bet” he’d vote for him again.
China said earlier this month it will suspend all U.S. agricultural imports. On Tuesday, when the Trump administration said it is delaying tariffs on some Chinese goods, the president said he hopes China will now commit to buying some U.S. farm products.
In 2016, Trump won Iowa, a heavily rural state, by almost 10 percentage points. The state hosts the nation’s first primary election in February, and Democratic candidates have been swarming in the state in recent days, including at the fair, where they have made speeches insisting Trump is hurting farmers.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg told reporters that farmers need help from a president to keep export markets open, but that isn’t happening under Trump.
“It’s adding yet another element of uncertainty for farmers who are already dealing with consolidation and monopolies, increased frequency of bad weather, and the general pressures of staying ahead in the farming business,” he said.
The Trump administration has provided aid to farmers hit by the tariffs, with the Department of Agriculture signing them up for a program to award about $14.5 billion in aid, following a $10 billion program last year.