Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is issuing a warning about the dangers of an escalating trade war with China.
“As I like to tell the president when he says he likes tariffs, I try to remind him that Smoot-Hawley brought about the Great Depression, brought about Adolph Hitler, brought about World War II, brought about 60 million people losing their lives as a result of it,” Grassley said today.
The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 raised tariffs on goods imported into the U.S. by 20 percent and sparked retaliatory tariffs from other countries on U.S. goods. According to Grassley, half the world lived in poverty after World War II, but reducing tariffs and promoting international trade have led nearly 50 percent of the world’s population to be classified as “middle class” today.
“I like to tell the president that globalism has helped everybody, freeing up trade has helped everybody and let’s move on,” Grassley said.
Grassley, a Republican, made his remarks to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Fellow Republican Joni Ernst, Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, has said Iowa farmers will suffer “permanent damage” if they lose access to the Chinese market.
“We need free trade. We need fair trade and we are not seeing that from China right now,” Ernst told reporters in Washington yesterday. “So I would say: ‘China, quit hemming and hawing. Let’s get back to the (negotiating) table. Let’s finish this deal.’ It will be good for China. It’ll be great for Americans.”
President Trump began imposing tariffs last year and is threatening to impose a 25 percent tariff on another $325 billion in Chinese goods next month if there’s no deal. Trump also has promised another $15 billion in federal aid to farmers to compensate for trade-related losses.