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In Iowa Donald Trump talks energy, Joe Biden criticizes tariffs

By Clyde Hughes & Daniel Uria
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In Iowa Donald Trump talks energy, Joe Biden criticizes tariffs
President Donald Trump campaigned for re-election in Iowa on Tuesday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

June 11 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump and 2020 Democratic challenger Joe Biden stumped on opposite ends of Iowa on Tuesday, both making tariffs a focus of their remarks.

Trump spoke about an executive order he signed Tuesday aimed at streamlining the agriculture biotechnology regulatory process for farmers. He toured Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, which produces ethanol, and delivered remarks at Council Bluffs about renewable energy.

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He said the order would "speed up reviews of biotechnology so that farmers can get access to critical scientific advances faster and reap the full benefits of American innovation for many years into the future."

He also touted his administration's success in lifting restrictions on E15 fuel -- a blend of ethanol and gasoline -- which he said would increase sales of ethanol and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

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"Quite simply it means more energy, and what can be wrong with that?" Trump said. "It's very good energy."

During his speech, Trump also again referenced his $16 billion aid package to help U.S. farmers offset the effects of Chinese tariffs, which he said will include billions of dollars taken in by the Treasury from tariffs on Chinese imports, although the tariffs are actually paid by firms that import goods into the United States.

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Speaking at his own event in Davenport, on the eastern edge of the state, former Vice President Biden took aim at Trump's tariff stance.

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"Any beginning econ student at Iowa or Iowa State could tell you that the American people are paying his tariffs. The cashiers at Target see what's going on -- they know more about economics than Trump," he said.

Biden also pledged to repeal the sweeping tax cuts that Trump has signed into law and criticized the president's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"Time and time again, on issue after issue, Trump makes the wrong choices," he said. "He is motivated by the wrong things."

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Biden is among several prominent Democrats, including many members of Congress, vying for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The first of three Democratic Party debates will be held June 26-27 in Miami.

While Trump repeated some of his previous jabs at Biden during his speech Tuesday, the president said it is not yet "political season," pointing to his plans to officially announce his re-election campaign next Tuesday.

Trump is also scheduled to hold a Republican fundraiser in the state capital of Des Moines on Tuesday evening.

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