Iowa Senator Grassley recently returned from a trip to China and South Korea with a small group of U.S. Senators. With trade and tariffs at the forefront of national attention, Grassley said he felt it was in the “best interest of Iowa” for him to attend.
The Delegation visited several cities in both China and South Korea, and the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
Senator Grassley says there was positive dialogue between the Senate delegation and representatives from the South Korean and Chinese governments, especially with regards to defense and the denuclearization of North Korea.
However, the elephant in the room was the subject of trade and tariffs with China.
We have heard, sometimes at nauseum, about the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on steel and aluminum and the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. Senator Grassley took a moment to condense the reasoning for the U.S. imposed tariffs in a nutshell, citing that China may not be violating trade laws, but is not acting in the spirit of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Senator Grassley said working with the WTO may have produced better results than using a national security-based tariff, President Trump did act legally by imposing the tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Adjustment Act of 1962. This allows a President to impose tariffs on imports threatening national security.
When asked if he felt there had been significant damage done to agriculture to warrant voicing concerns to the President, Senator Grassley responded “Only time will tell. We will keep voicing our concerns. Until there is significant damage done to the value of Ag products, all we can do is wait it out.” What warranted a “significant level of damage” was not made clear.