Grassley: How ChemChina Responds Determines Closeness to China Gov't

October 28, 2016 11:07 AM

Mega-mergers in ag have been an important part of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s year. In September, a hearing was held for possible mergers between DuPont and Dow, Bayer and Monsanto, and ChemChina and Syngenta. Grassley chaired the committee, hearing testimony from all parties involved.

While Grassley doesn’t feel “better” about mergers, he is feeling good about information being publicized that wouldn’t normally be brought to light. He said the issues that didn’t come up in the oral hearing on Sept. 20 would be addressed in letters and the answers would come in writing.

So far, Grassley said, there has been a lot of responses. The committee is waiting on answers from two questions asked in the Syngenta-ChemChina merger. Syngenta passed the questions about lawsuits and sovereign immunity, and China’s policy on approving genetics. Grassley said how ChemChina answers, or doesn’t answer, will speak a lot for the possible merger.

“If they don’t want to answer, there’s probably a pretty good reason to consider them close to the Chinese government,” said Grassley. “The closer they are, the more questions [are] raised about whether ChemChina and Syngenta should go through.”

What about TTP?

With the election season drawing to an end, the lame duck session of Congress will begin.

While several ag groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are pushing for the passage of TPP, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa-R, it doesn’t look like it will be discussed.

Both presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have voiced their concern and disapproval when it comes to the trade deal.  Despite President Obama being a supporter of TTP, Grassley said he doesn’t want to submit it to Congress for fear of hurting Clinton’s chances in the election.

In order to pass TTP, Grassley told AgriTalk host Mike Adams Thursday the next president will have to change their views in either one or two ways: either have a “180 degree turn” or they need to find a “face-saving” way of making sure TTP can happen and it might require negotiation.

However, this negotiation does not seem likely. He said it would be difficult to renegotiate with 11 other countries, especially with those that have taken a position that there shouldn’t be further renegotiation to the trade agreement.

Listen to Grassley talk about the possibility of Democrats regaining control of the Senate and the “rule of thumb” Republicans have in regard to Trump’s impact on Republican races on AgriTalk above.

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