Ernst urges Trump to "reconsider" tariffs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCRG-TV9) - Iowa Senator Joni Ernst issued a plea to President Donald Trump Thursday to reconsider his plan to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Ernst warned the tariffs will have a broad impact on businesses across Iowa - from manufacturing to farming.

“Household names like John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Vermeer, Lennox, and Arconic all share a similar story – creating jobs and economic opportunity for countless Iowans and Americans – using steel and aluminum inputs to feed their manufacturing processes," Ernst said.

Ernst also warned of the impacts on farmers driving up to costs of grain bins or farm equipment. The threat of retaliation from other countries imposing tariffs on American goods could also hurt the U.S. economy.

"This threat of retaliation is a reality. History has shown that retaliatory tariffs are often targeted at agriculture. Our farmers are deeply fearful, and I share their sentiment," Ernst said.

President Trump cited trade deficits in announcing the new tariffs, arguing this would level the playing field for American steel and aluminum producers.

Ernst agreed there is a need to address those trade deficits but again warned President Trump to use caution.

“I couldn’t agree more when President Trump has said that the U.S. should be its own boss when it comes to driving our trade policies," Ernst said. "But America must understand its customers and be sensitive to what drives them to buy what the United States is selling. We simply cannot afford to be the overpriced boutique when the store down the street is selling the same goods at a discount price. We will lose every time."