DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to thank President Donald Trump for federal flood aid when he’s in Iowa next week, tell him the state will need even more disaster recovery help and express concern that tariffs on Mexico will further hit farmers by targeting a key Iowa trading partner.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Iowa’s Republican governor also said she will use the time the president is in Council Bluffs and West Des Moines to thank him for his administration’s decision to allow year-round sales of gasoline blended with 15 percent corn-derived ethanol.
Reynolds, who visited flood-ravaged areas of western Iowa on Monday, said she was “very grateful” Congress this week approved a nearly $19 billion disaster relief package that Trump is expected to sign.
“It’s a good start, but we’re going to need more,” she said.
Reynolds said she plans to ask the president to reopen a federal disaster declaration for Iowa that already includes nine counties dating back to March 12 so more areas of the state can be added.
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Iowa is “early on” in assessing damage that can’t be finalized until breached levees are repaired, she said.
“We have an entire state that’s being impacted by flood. We’re going to have additional requests moving forward,” she said. “The more that we can streamline the bureaucracy at the federal level to help get the need and assistance to Iowans who have been impacted by the flood, it’s critical, so I want to continue to encourage him to do that.”
While thanking him for the federal flooding response thus far, Reynolds said she also will use the occasion to warn Trump his tariff threats over migration disputes with Mexico could derail the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and hurt Iowa farmers and manufacturers at a time when they need “some predictability and stability.”
“I’m going to say it is critical that we get the USMCA ratified,” she said. “We need Congress to act. He needs to be a part of it. The timeline is sensitive. Those are our No. 1 and 2 trading partners.
“Yes, I agree that we need to secure the border, we need to fix a broken immigration system, we need parties on both sides of the aisle to sit down at the table and address this and quit putting politics forward,” she added. “Tariffs right now I think potentially disrupt us getting the USMCA ratified, and so I really believe that is where the focus needs to be, and I’m just concerned about that when he implements things like that, the impact that it has on our ability to get that done.”