Trump’s tariff plans creating anxiety in farm belt

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April 2, 2018 - 11:00 PM

HOSPERS, Iowa (AP) — In Sioux County, where swine barns interrupt the vast landscape of cornstubbled fields, exports of meat, grain and machinery fuel the local economy. And there’s a palpable sense of unease that new Chinese tariffs pushed by President Donald Trump — who received more than 80 percent of the vote here in 2016 — could threaten residents’ livelihood.

The grumbling hardly signals a looming leftward lurch in this dominantly Republican region in northwest Iowa. But after standing with Trump through the many trials of his first year, some Sioux County Trump voters say they would be willing to walk away from the president if the fallout from the tariffs causes a lasting downturn in the farm economy.

“I wouldn’t sit here today and say I will definitely support him again,” said 60-year-old hog farmer Marv Van Den Top. “This here could be a real negative for him.”

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