Trump promises to launch ‘revival of economic nationalism’ in Cedar Rapids

Former President Donald Trump raises his fist Saturday to the crowd as attendees give him a standing ovation after he came on stage at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Former President Donald Trump promised Saturday to launch “a revival of financial nationalism” centered on protectionist commerce insurance policies if he retakes the White Home, with “the good state of Iowa on the middle of the motion.”

Trump campaigned earlier than a crowd of greater than 2,000 in downtown Cedar Rapids, touting his commerce and farm insurance policies, defending American jobs and undoing Democratic President Joe Biden’s immigration insurance policies and electrical automobile incentives.

Thousands of people wait Saturday for the arrival of former President Donald Trump at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

The Republican presidential candidate spoke earlier within the day at a “decide to caucus” occasion in Waterloo.

Trump, as he usually does in Iowa, highlighted the $28 billion in federal assist to farmers he authorised as president to offset losses they skilled whereas his administration renegotiated worldwide commerce agreements and imposed new tariffs with China.

If elected, Trump mentioned he would impose an across-the-board tariff on foreign-made items and a Reciprocal Commerce Act, putting the identical tariffs for a international nation that they place on the US. He additionally pledged to revoke China’s “most favored nation” commerce standing.

“We’re able to take our America First financial program to even better heights,” Trump mentioned. “Once I’m elected, we may have tax cuts, regulation cuts, power value cuts and rate of interest cuts such as you’ve by no means seen earlier than.”

The previous president additionally railed in opposition to electrical automobiles of all types, together with boats and farm automobiles, saying he would favor to die by electrocution somewhat than be eaten by a shark if he ever discovered himself on a quickly sinking, electrically powered boat.

Trump claimed “ethanol is lifeless” beneath Biden’s insurance policies, which subsidize the manufacturing and buying of electrical automobiles and their parts. The insurance policies additionally impose strict gasoline economic system requirements on automakers that may be met with zero-emission electrical vehicles.

Former President Donald Trump speaks Saturday to a large crowd about what he would change if elected to the White House during a visit at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

He additionally took swipes at Florida Gov. Ron. DeSantis, Trump’s closes rival in polls for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump criticized DeSantis as a “raging opponent” of ethanol.

DeSantis in Congress co-sponsored laws that will have eradicated the federal Renewable Gasoline Commonplace, which inspires ethanol manufacturing by requiring a certain quantity be blended within the nation’s gasoline provide.

Earlier this 12 months in an op-ed revealed within the Des Moines Register, DeSantis pledged to “help giving drivers further low-cost choices on the pump, together with greater ethanol blends comparable to E30 and better octane choices.”

Trump touted that his administration finalized a rule, later thrown out by a federal appeals court docket, permitting for year-round entry to E15, gasoline blended with 15 % ethanol. Iowa is the nation’s largest ethanol producer.

The previous president additionally made mild of his myriad authorized troubles and went after New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James, calling her a “crazed lunatic,” and “ultra-left” Decide Arthur Engoron.

Trump was in a New York courtroom this week as a part of a civil fraud trial. Trump can also be dealing with 91 felony counts in 4 legal circumstances in Washington, New York, Florida and Georgia and will probably be years in jail if convicted.

“Each time they indict me, I take into account it an ideal badge of honor,“ he mentioned, joking that he has been indicted greater than famed gangster Al Capone.

Former President Donald Trump speaks Saturday to a large crowd during a campaign stop at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Saturday’s visits come as Trump beefs up his marketing campaign in Iowa in an effort to keep away from a less-than-stellar victory in a crucial early state. Iowa’s GOP caucus is about three months away, on Jan. 15, 2024.

A commanding victory within the leadoff caucus state would all however cement his standing because the inevitable GOP nominee. A loss or slim win in Iowa would supply a gap for DeSantis and others within the subject.

Nonetheless, the previous president maintains a dominant lead in polling amongst Republican main voters, each nationally and in Iowa.


Julianna Balogh of Arkansas smiles as she holds out a large Trump 2024 flag for passing cars Saturday while waiting for his visit at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in Cedar Rapids. Balogh said she has driven 60,000 miles this year to follow the former president around the country. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Julianna Balogh, 70, traveled 600 miles from Arkansas to see Trump on Saturday. Balogh arrived in Cedar Rapids late Friday and slept in her automotive.

Balogh, who emigrated from Hungary, mentioned she’s traveled 60,000 miles this 12 months following the previous president as he campaigns. She mentioned Saturday’s go to was the fortieth Trump marketing campaign occasion that she has attended.

Balogh is a part of the “Entrance Row Joes,” Trump supporters so steadfast they camp out for hours — even days — forward of his appearances.

Julianna Balogh of Arkansas waves a Trump 2024 and MAGA flag for passing cars Saturday while waiting for his visit at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Sporting a star-spangled “Entrance Row Joes” baseball jersey with “Trump 45” written on the again, a shirt emblazoned with photographs of Trump and bright-red cowboy boots, Balogh mentioned she likes Trump’s financial insurance policies and believes Biden is “dragging” the US “into World Battle III” along with his help for Ukraine’s conflict in opposition to Russian invasion. She referred to as Trump — who as president threatened to “completely destroy” North Korea — a “peacemaker” and the a number of indictments in opposition to him as “pretend.”

Karen Higgins, 79, of Cedar Rapids, supported Trump in 2016 and 2020, and has dedicated to caucusing for him in 2024.

Higgins touted Trump’s financial and immigration insurance policies — reducing taxes, boosting home power manufacturing, constructing the border wall and forcing asylum-seekers to attend in Mexico whereas their circumstances are pending.

“In the event that they wish to come right here, come legally — not illegally,” she mentioned.

Higgins, too, lauded Trump for appointing conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court docket who overturned federal abortion protections.

“I don’t imagine in abortion,” she mentioned. “That’s killing, regardless of the way you have a look at it.”

DoubleTree employee Kristen Scarfi looks Saturday at Trump merchandise outside of the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Complex in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Requested about the remainder of the Republican presidential subject, the 79-year-old mentioned no candidate or difficulty is probably going sway her help away from Trump.


Iowa state Rep. Jeff Cooling, D-Cedar Rapids, and Ohio Democratic U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown, argued Trump broke his guarantees to Iowans as president, signing into regulation tax cuts in 2017 that disproportionately helped the richest Individuals and created new incentives for corporations to maneuver jobs abroad.

The pair spoke with reporters on a convention name forward of Trump’s visits to Iowa. Brown serves on the Nationwide Advisory Board for Biden’s 2024 re-election marketing campaign.

“He promised to place American employees first, however as a substitute, his financial insurance policies had been only a web page out of the identical, failed Republican playbook: large tax cuts for the wealthy and incentives for sending jobs abroad — paid for by weakening protections for organized labor and elevating prices for on a regular basis households,” Brown mentioned.

Regardless of Trump’s claims, Cooling, a union electrician, argued the previous president undermined unions and weakened the labor motion, appointing “union busting attorneys” to the Nationwide Labor Relations Board and conservative U.S. justices which have handed unions main setbacks.

“Trump has all the time regarded out for the man within the nook workplace and left the man on the manufacturing ground to shoulder the associated fee,“ Cooling mentioned.

He contrasted that with investments being made in Iowa by the Biden administration, together with a $20 million grant funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act to assist pay for enhancements and terminal rework at The Jap Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

“The roles created by tasks funded with these legal guidelines present family-sustaining wages in expert trades“ and help union jobs, Cooling mentioned. ”Trump’s MAGA agenda would roll again the progress we’ve made beneath President Biden and put tens of 1000’s of latest jobs and tens of millions of {dollars} in funding he’s created in danger.“

Republicans contend Biden’s multitrillion-dollar agenda has made inflation worse by flooding the economic system with authorities spending — straining household budgets on the grocery aisle — and that his clear power insurance policies are guilty for prime gasoline costs.

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