Iowa Democratic official: Trump tariffs starting to hurt his standing in the state

Iowa Democratic Party official Troy Price on Monday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems want tougher language on election security in defense bill Five aides to Van Drew resign ahead of his formal switch to GOP The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE’s ongoing trade war with China is among the top concerns among voters in the Hawkeye State, saying the battle is starting to hurt local farmers.

“What I’m hearing a lot about is the tariffs and I do think the tariffs are starting to really hurt the president’s standing in the state and hurt the Republican Party’s standing in the state,” Price, a chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said in an appearance on Hill.TV's “Rising.”

“I’ve been out and about a lot throughout the state — I think I’ve put a 100,000 miles on my car over the last two years since I’ve had this job — and everywhere I go, more and more people are talking about it,” he added.

Price maintained that the tariffs are a growing issue for voters across partisan lines, saying many in the state feel like Trump has failed to keep his campaign promise to stand up for the agriculture industry.

“It’s not just Democrats,” he said. “It is Republicans, independents, it’s people who are upset, they feel like the president has broken his word. He promised to stand up for farmers, he promised to stand up for rural communities.”

Trump overwhelming won Iowa's six electoral votes in 2016 with 51 percent of the vote, compared to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOlympic figure skater Michelle Kwan makes Iowa appearances for Biden The Memo: 2020 Democratic tensions burst to surface The 'Green' new deal that Tom Perez needs to make MORE's 41 percent of the vote.

But some statewide polls are suggesting that Trump could face a more competitive race in the state in the 2020 election.

According to Morning Consult's tracking tool, Trump's approval rating stood at 43 percent in July. This marks a 20 percent drop since he took office in 2016. 

Price’s comments come after Trump last week announced that he was not ready to strike a trade deal with China. 

“We are talking to China. We are not ready to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House. "They want to make a deal. I'm not ready to make a deal."

The remarks shook the financial markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 200 points.

Trump has imposed a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion in imports from China. He has also threatened a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1.

Price, who grew up in a small town in Iowa, added that he has personally seen how Trump’s trade dispute has hurt his own community, noting that farmers are making less for the crops than what they put in to grow them.

“There are businesses in my small town where I grew up that are hurting because people aren’t spending as much money. They don’t have as much money to spend,” he told Hill.TV. “Farmers are going to be pulling crops out of the field this year two dollars lower than what they actually put in to grow the crops and so there are people who are really hurting out there.”

He argued that Trump, meanwhile, has turned a “blind eye to the issue,” and Republicans in the state have largely tried to avoid the issue ahead of the 2020 elections.

The U.S. and China are still scheduled to resume talks in September. However, Trump has hinted that the talks may not happen, telling reporters “we’ll see” when asked about whether or not he plans to follow through on negotiations.

— Tess Bonn