America’s trade war with China is escalating and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says farmers will be among the first to feel the effects.
After President Trump raised tariffs last week on some $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, China retaliated Monday with $60 billion in new tariffs on U.S. products. Grassley says the moves intensify the “urgency” of reaching an agreement as soon as possible to end this trade war.
“Farmers, in Iowa especially, rely on foreign markets to sell their products,” Grassley says. “China’s a particularly big market for Iowa pork and soybeans. That’s why I’m disappointed by the news about additional tariffs out of Beijing and Washington.” Grassley says both nations will suffer under the escalating barriers to trade.
Last year, the federal government offered payments to farmers to help offset the damage done by retaliatory tariffs and the White House is already promising another bailout to compensate for this latest round. “Well, it was $12 billion the last time and I assume it’s going to be as much this time,” Grassley says. “The president says he’s willing to put $15 billion into it from all the money that’s coming in from tariffs.”
Grassley, a Republican, says there’s “no doubt Americans will be harmed, including farmers, businesses and consumers in my home state of Iowa, if the additional tariffs take effect.” He says Americans understand the need to hold China accountable, but they also need to know that the administration understands the economic pain they would feel in a prolonged trade war.
“Farmers understand the need to address problems in China,” Grassley says. “For all of this to be worth it, President Trump needs to get an enforceable deal with China. I’m confident he will stand strong against Chinese bullying tactics and threats.” Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, is also calling on Trump to abandon tariffs he imposed on steel and aluminum, which is hurting progress in passing the USMCA, the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is to replace NAFTA.