ErnstSpeaking to more than 120 free trade supporters at Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) made it clear that the current tariffs on steel and aluminum as well as the tariffs on Chinese goods must end as soon as possible.

The comments came at a town hall co-hosted by AEM and Tariffs Hurt the Heartland in Williamsburg, Iowa. The event featured a diverse group of small equipment manufacturers, farmers, and small business owners who have all been hurt by the tariffs and the rising U.S.-China trade tensions. Sen. Ernst has been an outspoken critic of tariffs and a staunch supporter of Iowa’s equipment manufacturers and farmers. She recently introduced legislation that will reform Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to better align the statute with its original intent.

Here are some of the highlights from Sen. Ernst’s comments on how tariffs hurt Iowans, why Congress must ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and the need to highlight the impact on consumers and businesses.

  • “Trade supports one in five jobs in Iowa, and we know tariffs are threatening these jobs by adding additional expenses and hurting our farmers. It's time for this practice to stop.”
  • "Our manufacturers are having to make very hard decisions due to increased input costs and lower sales." 
  • “We want to focus on the near term, get our farmers on good footing, get our manufacturers on good footing, and export to the world."
  • "The best thing that we can do right now is just make sure that we're getting these trade deals done, make sure those tariffs are coming off, that is the best way to keep our farmers in business."
  • "We need to get rid of the tariffs, that's the message I'm going to send not just to Capitol Hill but the White House as well. That's what Ambassador (Robert) Lighthizer and the President need to hear. That the costs are driving up because of these tariffs, not just because of the retaliatory tariffs, it hurts us the consumers." 
  • “We’re getting a good deal with the USMCA. This is good for U.S. farmers and ranchers. This is good for equipment manufacturers. We need to get this done.”

Sen. Ernst wrapped up her remarks with a clear call to action: "Whether you're an employer, a manufacturer, whether you’re the end purchaser of a new piece of equipment—tell me what those tariffs are doing to you, to your family, your business.”

AEM’s national grassroots campaign I Make America has asked equipment manufacturers and the 1.3 million men and women of the industry to do just that. Please tell your elected officials and President Congress to put an end to tariffs immediately.

Watch the full video to listen to Sen. Ernst’s entire town hall remarks.

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