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Congressional Candidates In Iowa's Competitive Third District Talk Trade At State Fair

david young
John Pemble
Congressman David Young (R-Van Meter) speaks at the Iowa State Fair Thursday, August 16, 2018.

Republican Congressman David Young took the stage at the Des Moines Register Soapbox Thursday and told state fair-goers ongoing trade disputes and tariffs are making him nervous.

After his speech, Young (R-Van Meter) told reporters he has made it clear to the Trump Administration that he “doesn’t like” tariffs that are affecting Iowa pork and soybean producers.

“As a leverage tool, I understand what [Trump is] doing,” Young said. “But as policy, we cannot allow this to go on a whole lot longer and allow this to become pure policy and have it mired in that.”

Young said the Trump Administration told him a “better” trade agreement with Canada and Mexico will be worked out sometime this summer, which Young noted ends Sept. 21.

The Third District congressman is facing Democrat Cindy Axne in November in what’s considered one of the most competitive races in the country. Iowa’s third district covers southwest Iowa and includes Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

cindy axne
Credit Katarina Sostaric / IPR
Cindy Axne celebrates her Democratic primary win June 5, 2018.

The Cook Political Report rated the district as a “toss-up,” which means the Republican and Democratic candidates both have a good chance of winning.

Axne spoke at the state fair Saturday.

“Right now, [Young] stands by idly as this administration attacks our farmers, our local economies and our state’s economy to be successful in agriculture, and we need to send somebody out to Congress who’s going to stand up for Iowans,” Axne said.

She said she is running for Congress because she’s unhappy with decisions made in Washington D.C. that “are hurting hardworking Iowa families.”

Axne said Washington doesn’t “have our back” and Iowans deserve better.

“Unfortunately, my opponent Congressman Young doesn’t think that,” Axne said. “And as a matter of fact, he’s so mired in the ways of Washington that he’s causing some of these problems.”

She accused Young of taking money from corporations and voting for a tax bill that benefits wealthy shareholders.

Young touted some provisions of that new tax law, which was passed by Republicans last fall. He said Thursday those tax code changes and “common-sense regulations,” or fewer regulations, will help with economic growth.

“There’s an economic renaissance going on in Iowa and this country, and we have to make sure it continues,” Young said.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter