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Iowa politicians react to new trade deal between the U.S. and China

DES MOINES — Iowa politicians from both sides of the political aisle are weighing in on a new trade deal signed Wednesday. Supporters hope the deal could ...

DES MOINES — Iowa politicians from both sides of the political aisle are weighing in on a new trade deal signed Wednesday.

Supporters hope the deal could deescalate tensions between the U.S. and China.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who attended a signing ceremony for the Phase One deal, released the following statement.

“President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer should be commended for this significant progress toward a full and enforceable deal with China. Farmers have borne the brunt of retaliation throughout this trade war. At the White House today, I was thinking of my neighbors in Iowa and all the other farmers across the country who have stood strong throughout this process.

“I hope this proves to be a turning point in our economic relationship with China, but I’ve seen enough history to be clear-eyed. Not only must China follow through with its commitments in this Phase One deal, but also work toward a comprehensive agreement that ends forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft and unfair restrictions on U.S. goods, including agriculture. Only then will we know if China can be a reliable economic partner in the 21st century.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Sen. Joni Ernst, who was joined by Grassley and Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., also shared the following statement.

“There’s no doubt that this is an exciting start to the new year for the great state of Iowa—from the phase one China trade agreement being finalized to the USMCA moving through the Senate, I’m proud to work with President Trump to deliver real results for Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers.

“I was honored to join the President, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Governor Kim Reynolds at the White House for today’s signing ceremony. As Iowa’s 4th largest trading partner, China is a critically important market for Iowans, and this phase one deal – which is especially promising for our ag and manufacturing sectors – will help provide certainty for folks back home and starts to address other long-time issues with China: forced technology transfers and non-tariff trade barriers. As always, it’s imperative we keep the pressure on China to uphold their end of the bargain to ensure Iowa’s farmers and businesses see the full impact of this trade agreement.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

Governor Reynolds also shared her thoughts on the deal in a video statement:

Both of Iowa’s senators, along with Reynolds, shared this picture at the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C..

Courtesy: Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office

Republican Rep. Steve King addressed the new trade deal in a floor speech. He said the trade agreement will boost agriculture exports from Iowa to China, and also addresses intellectual property issues.

Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne offered cautious optimism for the new trade agreement in a statement.

As this administration has pursued a prolonged trade war with China, Iowa farmers have been the ones to pay the price.

As I’ve traveled through Southwest Iowa, I have heard concerns directly from farmers I represent in Washington — concerns about how long this trade war has gone on, how difficult it will be to reclaim lost markets, and how deep the seeds of uncertainty have been laid as a result of protracted tensions with China.

I’m hopeful that today’s Phase 1 agreement with China puts us on a path to ending this harmful trade war, and I will closely monitor the implementation to ensure Iowans are receiving what they’re promised.

While we have not received all the details of the finalized agreement, I will be looking to see if it will result in more purchases of Iowa’s agricultural products and reduce the harmful impacts of the tariffs on American businesses and consumers.

This administration must finalize a deal that will be enough to make up for what Iowa farmers have lost. We have seen China go back on their word time and time again, and any agreement must reflect a need for guarantees and enforcement mechanisms to protect our farmers’ futures.”

Rep. Cindy Van Axne (D-Iowa)