WASHINGTON – Senator Joni Ernst joined Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” to discuss how tariffs are affecting Iowa and her expectations for President Trump’s upcoming trips to Brussels and Helsinki. A highlight of the discussion includes:
SEN. ERNST: America's farmers and ranchers are always the first to be retaliated against in these types of trade negotiations, and the tariffs that have been imposed and the retaliation stemming from that puts us in a very vulnerable position as our markets go down. So I would just encourage the president, of course we want great deals, and I know he'll be able to negotiate those, but we would like to see a number of these trade agreements wrapped up in short order. The sooner the better.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well- do you hear of any progress? I mean, it sounds like the president is only talking about escalation and- and are you asking the president to send any kind of financial aid to some of these farmers?
SEN. ERNST: Well- no. And matter of fact, we push back on financial aid. Here in the Midwest we believe in trade not aid. We don't want another welfare-type program going to our farmers. They want to produce and they want to sell their goods to- to markets. So that's what we strive for. But I did speak with Ambassador Lighthizer, our U.S. trade rep, yesterday, and I did get encouraging news from him. I think there are a number of agreements that we're very close on. And he is working on a number of new free trade agreements. So I am encouraged - I would ask that we stay strong. But at some point we have to close the deal. And I- as I said, I would like to see the president do that sooner rather than later.