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Buttigieg: Trump 'Knows He’s Doing Harm To American Consumers' With Tariffs

John Pemble
Iowa Public Radio
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair Tuesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said by delaying some tariffs in an escalating trade war with China, the Trump administration is acknowledging the pain it’s causing Americans.

“This is going to hurt in our pocketbooks at home,” Buttigieg told reporters after speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair Tuesday.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said 10 percent tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports will go forward, but tariffs on some goods will be delayed until Dec. 15. 

“The fact that he doesn’t want that to hit at Christmas shows that he knows he’s doing harm to American consumers,” Buttigieg said. “But I don’t think trying to time it to his political benefit is really going to make much of a difference in the long run.”

Buttigieg took questions from the crowd gathered for his speech.

“What about Mitch McConnell?” asked one audience member, referring to the U.S. Senate majority leader.

Buttigieg made the case for nominating someone like him from middle America for the Democratic presidential nomination.  

“It would help to nominate somebody with coattails who comes from the middle of the country and can speak to these concerns in plain English in the course of a presidential campaign so that we bring in a Senate majority with us,” Buttigeg said. “When we do it’ll be time to put an end to the filibuster.”

Buttigieg is one of the last candidates to make the token Iowa State Fair campaign trip of the cycle with many of the candidates visiting last weekend.

Retired Des Moines teacher Betty Wolfe came to the State Fair to see Mayor Buttigieg and plans to caucus for him. 

“Pete always speaks positively,” Wolfe said. “I like that he has faith and doesn’t hold a banner up about it.”  

Wolfe also said she likes where he stands on education and gun control. 

Buttigieg unveiled a plan Tuesday aimed at empowering rural communities through investments in high-speed internet, giving farmers a voice in combatting climate change and encouraging immigrants to settle in places that have seen a population decline.