Klobuchar represents a farm state that relies heavily on trade with Canada. She has criticized American trade tensions with China — while showing support for some of Trump’s protectionist moves.
Klobuchar sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. On her Senate website, she cites boosting insurance programs for farmers hurt by bad weather and market fluctuations as one of her priorities.
Her concerns in the state extend to alleviating the damage to farmers from the president’s trade war with China — which is temporarily stalled. Klobuchar has urged Trump to quickly strike new trade deals and get rid of Chinese tariffs that have hurt pockets of the U.S. agricultural industry.
The president has put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods as he tries to force the world’s second largest economy to address trade abuses. Beijing responded by levying duties on U.S. products, many of which come from Midwestern farms. The two sides have temporarily stopped new tariffs as they try to strike a new trade deal by March 2.
Klobuchar, like many politicians around the country, has tried to strike a delicate balance on trade issues. She supported Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, popular in the Iron Range in the northern part of the state. But those duties on metals in part led to Chinese frustrations and tariffs, which in turn caused headaches for the state’s farmers.
Of course, her familiarity with agricultural issues could help her in a key early primary state: Iowa. In December, Klobuchar made the case that officials have forgotten rural America, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
“Minnesota matters, Wisconsin matters, Nebraska matters, Ohio matters — and, yes, Iowa matters,” she told the annual convention of the Iowa Farmers Union.