CD-7 Republican candidate, Church, discusses trade in Rothschild Submitted: 01/22/2020
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin

CD-7 Republican candidate, Church, discusses trade in Rothschild
ROTHSCHILD - Candidates in Wisconsin's 7th congressional district race are taking their message directly to voters with less than one month until the primary election in February. 

In Rothschild Wednesday, Republican candidate Jason Church toured Wausau Tile; engaging in a wide-ranging conversation with staff.

First, he focused on trade and said the president's replacement for NAFTA, USMCA, should have been passed sooner. The United States-Mexico-Canada agreement was drafted in 2018 but only recently made its way to the president's desk.

During the discussion, Church also mentioned other factors that he believes have hampered Wisconsin businesses.

"I also see things like regulation and a continued push for more federal government involvement things like business, that stymie innovation, stymie growth and prohibit industries such as yours and others from doing what they need to do," said Church.

When asked his thoughts on the president's new $200 billion trade deal with China, Church said he trusts Trump despite his volatile relationship with China.

"You always need to be working towards a solution and I think that's what the president's doing here," said Church. "There are obviously verification mechanisms that are being put in place by the Trump administration to make sure they are in compliance."

Church was also asked about his support of the second amendment in light of a new TV ad that shows him firing a shot gun.

Church said gun control measures being pushed by Washington and people in coastal cities concern him. He went on to say that he believed gun violence can't be addressed without targeting mental health.

"Now we're finally saying your wounds up here, are the same as my physical wounds down here and you need to go and its okay to seek the mental health you need," said Church.

Church also commented on the impeachment proceedings, saying he believed Democrats have had it out for Trump since day one.

When asked how he would get things done in Washington, Church touted his endorsements from "like-minded" lawmakers like Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rep. Adam Kinzinger or Illinois and Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas. 

During the discussion, Church also referenced his military record, siding with the Trump administration on the killing of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani. Church reiterated his belief that Soleimani may have funded the attack that injured him while serving in Afghanistan.  

Church will face Minocqua Sen. Tom Tiffany in the Republican primary for Wisconsin's 7th congressional district on Feb. 18.

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ANTIGO - What starts with a tumble, ends in neatly packed, ready-to-ship bundles in the Kretz Lumber warehouse. Twenty percent of it will go across the ocean to China, with tariffs tearing into the profit.

"Twenty-five percent of our sales to China was reduced and we still have the same amount of overhead that you have to cover no matter what the price is," said Troy Brown, President of Kretz Lumber.

Though China's tariffs will be gone Friday, Brown says the foreign timber market is much different now from a year and a half ago.

"When their sheds are full of lumber from other countries it takes a while to empty those sheds out and start filling them with U.S. hardwoods," said Brown.

So even without tariffs, Brown wants some relief funds.

In a recent Farm Relief Package through the United States Department of Agriculture, dairy, soybean and other farmers received federal aid. But hardwood tree farmers got nothing.

"We support the Trump administration in the trade war 100 percent," said Brown. "But if the government is offering relief, you want to raise your hand as an industry and for your partners in the industry to say 'hey, what about us.'"

Brown also said he can't rely on the Chinese market right now.

"Everything we've been hearing is China has its problems," said Brown. "It's got coronavirus that everybody hears about. It's got an economy that hit a bubble and somewhat burst."

Brown hopes the Trump administration will include hardwood in the farm aid package, but isn't holding his breath.

"I am not expecting anything to come of this," said Brown. "I'd be highly surprised."

So Brown and others at Kretz Lumber will keep turning timber to lumber; hoping for a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

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