Senator Jodi Ernst (R – Ia) nears the end of her first term in the US Senate. She will run for re-election, but she is already encountering a good deal of flak as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s love of tariffs. Trump’s tariffs on goods from China has led to Chinese tariffs on the agricultural products that Iowa exports.
Although Iowa leans conservative, it is a state that President Barack Obama won twice, and that was represented in the US Senate by Tom Harkin (D) from 1984 to 2014: so conservative/Republican victories are not a sure thing.
The People’s Republic of China is the top market for U.S. agricultural exports. The US had as of 2017 a 52% share of China’s soybean market. One Iowa soybean farmer, Brent Renner, recently told the Des Moines Register, “A lot of us think that it [the fall-out from the trade war] can’t get any worse….But that’s probably not a safe bet.”
The Thing to Know:
Ernst is dealing with her constituents’ hostility toward the ‘war’ with China by posing herself as a moderating influence upon the President’s trade-war decisions. “I’m continually pushing on the administration,” she says, and Trump “will take my calls.”