While farmers watch the grain market roller coaster continue to make loop after loop, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says they are very concerned about the outcome of our most recent trade spat with China. President Trump is handling the situation like a businessman, he says, adding that maybe his theory is that longer negotiations lead to better deals.
“One word, very nervous. Very concerned,” he told AgriTalk host Chip Flory when asked what Iowa farmers are telling him about the trade situation. “I think that they want the president to be successful, but there's so much unknown and so much uncertainty. Trade did come up at every one of my 10 county meetings that I had last week.”
According to Grassley, there is light at the end of the tunnel on NAFTA negotiations, but our current situation with China is giving him heartburn.
“The ups and downs of what we're doing with China doesn't give me a lot of hope,” he said Monday. “Except for what we all know is that we export a lot less to China, maybe a third less than what they export to us, and it seems to me that we would have some staying power that China doesn't have.”
Grassley was also quick to point out China has an authoritarian government, so they aren’t subject to the will of the people, like President Trump is. He says China’s sales to the U.S. might not be enough to settle the deal.
“I know the President's attitude is pretty much like a businessman that he is,” explained Grassley. “Remember he’s the first non-politician or non-general to be president of the United States, so he may be handling this a little bit different, but I think his attitude is the longer you negotiate the better deal you get.”
According to Grassley, negotiations to settle this disagreement with China should have been done yesterday.
“It's got to be done, because when negotiations aren't going on, that's going to bring more uncertainty to it,” he said. “So, it seemed to me we ought to be talking all the time.”
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