By Emily Wangen
CEDAR RAPIDS — Vice President Mike Pence made a stop in Cedar Rapids on the afternoon of July 11 as part of a Midwest trip to three House districts with contested races.
“Since Day 1 of this administration, President Trump has been working to the promises that he made to the people of Iowa and the people of this country,” Pence told a crowd of Rockwell Collins employees during a speech at the aerospace manufacturer’s headquarters.
After arriving in Cedar Rapids, Pence toured the headquarters of Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids’ largest employer with 8,000 employees at the Cedar Rapids facility and 30,000 worldwide, with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa.
One of the main points Pence emphasized was the the GOP’s tax bill, which President Trump signed into law in December 2017. Pence said the bill, which provided tax cuts for corporations and families, will help companies such as Rockwell Collins grow through the millions cut in taxes available to be invested.
“Iowa taxpayers were most definitely helped because the Trump-Pence administration fought to get a landmark victory on tax cuts in December,” Reynolds said during her speech at Rockwell Collins.
In a statement following the event, Reynolds said she used Pence’s visit to discuss the negative impact tariffs on U.S. products will have on Iowans.
“These tariffs will have real consequences on our state,” Reynolds said in a July 11 statement. “Agriculture is always the first casualty in a trade war, and while we support free and fair trade, Iowa farmers are already facing tight margins and low commodity prices. No one wins in a trade war, and the longer this uncertainty continues, the more devastating the effect on Iowa farmers.”
Pence assured Iowans that the Trump administration will continue to focus on farmers after tariffs between the U.S. and China took effect July 6. Trump has threatened China with $200 billion more in tariffs.
“When it comes to agriculture, I just want to assure all my friends here in Iowa and all across the region, under President Trump’s leadership, we’re always going to stand with American farmers,” Pence said.
He guaranteed that Trump, who is in Brussels for a summit of all 29 NATO members, is discussing trade and U.S. agriculture at the summit.
“The truth of the matter is the president really does believe, and we all believe, that for too long America’s trading relationships with many leading trading partners have been too one-sided,” Pence said.
He also supported Reynolds and Blum in their re-election campaigns against retired business executive Fred Hubbell and Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Dubuque, respectively.
He touted Blum’s legislative actions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including securing $117 million in federal funding to complete a flood wall in Cedar Rapids, which Pence said he had been working toward since the early days of the Trump administration. Pence also attended a private fundraiser with Blum following the event.
“All that we’ve been accomplishing has not been possible but for principal leadership of Congressman Rod Blum,” Pence said during his speech.