Farmers in Iowa and across the Midwest want quick resolution to the looming trade war due to the negative impact it’s starting to have on their bottom lines.
Speaking in Des Moines over the weekend, the U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, says he isn’t sure how long the impasse with China will last. “We’re continuing to have discussions,” Branstad says. “I’m trying to keep the leaders in Washington informed and do all that we can. We’ve had several meetings and we’re going to continue to work on it.”
Branstad, a former Iowa governor, says President Trump is justified in putting tariffs on imports of Chinese goods into the U.S. He says China is in worse financial condition than the U.S. due to the drop in that nation’s stock market and currency value. “China has not treated us or other countries fairly for a long time with their stealing of technology and also not enforcing intellectual property rights, the trade deficit has gone up and up,” Branstad says. “We’re trying to get fair and reciprocal trade and we want to double ag exports over the next five years.”
Speaking at the Iowa State Fair, Branstad says it’s unfortunate American farmers have been collateral damage in the trade war and he’s unsure what it will take for China to finally cut a deal with the U.S. “What the United States has done, we’ve focused on the areas that they’ve been unfair on, stealing technology and that,” he says. “They have focused on agriculture which had nothing to do with this. That’s why we think what the Chinese have done is unfair and they need to come to the realization, just as they did with sorghum, that this doesn’t make sense and they’re hurting their own consumer.”
Branstad says U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has been in talks with Chinese officials over the past two weeks, so the countries are trying to negotiate.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)