(Council Bluffs) — Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs played host to President Donald Trump Tuesday afternoon.
Trump toured the facility and signed an executive order that would allow the sale of E-15 year-round at gas stations across the country. The order comes as the administration is attempting to iron out a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. During a speech at the facility, Trump urged Iowa farmers to be patient when it comes to Mexican markets.
“Mexico's gonna be doing a lot of buying, a lotta buying. within a year and a half I’d say you're going to be in the best position you've been in in 15 years as farmers, and you deserve it,” said Trump.
Trump last week had threatened a new tariff on Mexican imports unless their government did more to slow migrants flowing through their country to the U.S. southern border. Trump backed off of those threats after he says Mexico agreed to a larger troop presence at its own southern border. Trump says his administration is good for farmers.
“By the end of this year, farm incomes are projected to rise by more than $10 billion from the day i was elected. and under my administration we will always protect and defend our great American patriot farmer,” said Trump.
Following his speech, Trump signed an executive order that would allow the sale of E-15 all year. Previous rules had shut off the sale of E-15 in the summer. Trump says the new rule is a promise delivered.
"As a candidate for president, I pledged to support our ethanol industry and to fight for the American farmer like no president has ever fought before," said Trump. "We're winning these fights. You're great patriots. We're winning these fights."
Kevin Ross is a sixth-generation family farmer from Minden and first vice president of the National Corn Growers Association. He thanked the administration and Senator Joni Ernst for their work to make E-15 more accessible, but warned the president that more needs to be done.
“Mr. President, you delivered on E15, but we have more work to do,” said Ross. “EPA’s oil refinery waivers threaten to undo your good works. I ask that you listen again because the pain that the ethanol and biodiesel industries have endured is holding back a farm economy that has further capacity to produce clean air and clean liquid fuels for this country.”
Following his appearance in Council Bluffs, Trump headed to West Des Moines to attend an Iowa Republican Party fundraiser.