DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne says the patience of Iowa farmers is wearing thin as President Donald Trump’s trade policies damage soybean markets and his administration’s ethanol policy reduces corn demand by billions of bushels.
Axne, a Democrat, convened a meeting with farmers and agriculture groups at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, a Republican and former Iowa secretary of agriculture.
Axne says farmers have tired of the heavy cost they are paying for Trump’s trade disputes with China. And Axne says Trump “sold them a bill of goods” by promising to expand ethanol sales but then cutting the demand for the corn-based fuel by approving exemptions to oil refineries.
Northey says Trump realizes farmers are stressed in part because of the administration policies and that’s why he is providing billions of dollars in temporary assistance and is promising this week to fix the ethanol market issue with an as-yet undisclosed program.