Senator Chuck Grassley. (file photo)

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is joining many of his colleagues in signing a letter to the U.S. trade representative, urging the preservation of the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.

It’s been suggested the U.S. pull out of NAFTA with a “take it or leave it” strategy, but Grassley suggests compromise on key issues like demanding Mexican auto factory workers make $16-an- hour.

“They make about $4 an hour now, $16 is quite a jump,” Grassley says. “Anything we can do to get them to pay more, do it, but maybe $16 is outrageous to expect from a country that doesn’t have the income that Americans have.” Grassley says that’s one of two key elements on which the U.S. could allow for some changes in NAFTA.

Grassley says, “The other one was to do away with the arbitration factor by which you settle disputes between countries.” As negotiations on the agreement near an end, the letter urges the Trump administration to work closely with Congress to ensure NAFTA has the Congressional support needed to be enacted into law. Grassley says it’s an important agreement to the nation — and to our state.

“The bottom line of what I said about what it takes to reach an agreement is important because Mexico imports so much Iowa corn, as one example,” Grassley says. “There’s a lot of other ways in which Iowans would be hurt if the United States withdrew from NAFTA.” The first incarnation of NAFTA was signed in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada.