May 22, 2019
(Washington) — Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne grilled a member of President Trump’s cabinet Wednesday morning on the prolonged trade war with China.
The West Des Moines Democrat questioned U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a U.S. House Finance Committee hearing on tariffs previously imposed on China, as well as the Trump Administration’s recent decision to increase tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. Axne repeatedly asked Mnuchin whether Americans would ultimately be responsible for paying the up-charge in Chinese goods affected by Trump’s tariffs.
Speaking on KMA’s “Morning Line” program prior to the hearing Wednesday morning, Axne says she has a message to send Mnuchin and the president.
“The message is Iowans aren’t pawns in their negotiation tactics,” said Axne. “I appreciate the fact that they’re trying to work with a player–China in this case–to make sure there’s a fair and level playing ground for trade, because we need to make sure our workers are getting paid appropriately, and that our goods are priced appropriately. And, that means we do need to sometimes negotiate with countries.”
Axne, however, says the trade war with China has gone on for too long.
“We’re almost a year into the tariffs,” she said. “At the beginning of the summer, we will have seen the tariffs hit for a full year, whether it was on steel that hurt our manufacturing. Of course, our farmers are in dire need right now. And now, there’s consumer tariffs.”
The congresswoman says the consumer tariffs will hurt Iowans’ pocketbooks.
“Tariffs are attacks on imports,” said Axne, “and they are paid for by U.S. companies. Those U.S. companies have passed that cost onto consumers, which means in Iowa, we stand to have a family pay up to $2,000 more a year in goods they would normally buy. It’s unacceptable. We can’t keep putting more money in the pockets of wealthy people at the expense of hard working Iowans, like we have in our district.”
Axne also rejects comments that Trump was right in ratcheting up tariffs on China, and that it will result in a better trade deal for Iowa farmers. She says that remains to be seen.
“Right now, what I know is that our soybean industry has lost 25% of its market,” said the congresswoman. “They’re making a little bit of that back, but they’re not sure where they’re going to receive the rest of it. Our corn industry’s been heavily hit. This impacts our ethanol industry, which impacts multiple folks who work in our communities. And, that impacts everybody down to our car dealerships and our grocery stores.”
You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our “Morning Line” page at kmaland.com.