Politics

Rep. Blum to Host Trump in Iowa

Comes as Iowa farmers are reeling from Trump’s trade policies

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, will host President Donald Trump . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Facing a competitive race for re-election, Republican Rep. Rod Blum will host President Donald Trump in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday.

Blum announced in a tweet that Trump would visit his hometown for a roundtable.

“President Trump was the first Republican nominee to win Dubuque County since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956,” Blum said.

The visit comes two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence visited Cedar Rapids, also in Blum’s district.

Trump’s visit comes as Iowa farmers are worried about his tariffs and a trade war with Mexico, China and Canada, the Des Moines Register reported.

The price of soybeans dropped 20 percent since March, when Trump levied his first tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This led to to retaliatory tariffs from other countries, the newspaper reported.

During his visit, Pence tried to reassure farmers about the trade war.

“When it comes to agriculture, I just want to assure all my friends here in Iowa and all across the region: Under President Trump’s leadership, we’re always going to stand with American farmers,” he said.

Iowa’s 1st District voted for Trump after voting for former President Barack Obama twice.

In 2016, Democrats tried tying Blum, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, to Trump only for it to backfire.

But Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who is challenging Blum for his House seat, criticized Blum for hosting the president because of his trade policies.

“After failing to let our farmers speak directly to the Vice President during his recent trip to Cedar Rapids, Blum has a responsibility to make it clear to POTUS how damaging his Twitter trade war is for Iowa,” Finkenauer said in a series of tweets.

“If POTUS isn’t hearing from our farmers this Thursday, Blum isn’t doing his job. Period,” she said.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for Iowa’s 1st District a Toss-Up.

Watch: Win or Lose in the Midterms, Top Democratic Leaders Could Shuffle in House

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