Grassley: Trump tariffs on China have been ‘very detrimental’ to Iowa

Grassley: Trump tariffs on China have been ‘very detrimental’ to Iowa
© Greg Nash

Sen. Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw MORE (R-Iowa) on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE's escalation of trade actions against China, saying that the president's policy has been "very detrimental" to his home state.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee appeared on CNN's "New Day" and said that recent Chinese tariffs targeting U.S. exports of soybeans and corn have had a profound effect on Iowa farmers.

China implemented the tariffs in retaliation for a previous package of U.S. tariffs by the Trump administration to combat alleged intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices.

"[The effects have been] very, very detrimental," Grassley said. "I'm very, very nervous about it."

"First of all, I'm a free trader," he said. "If we can get a level playing field ... who wouldn't want the president to accomplish that?"

"But he's negotiating I think as a businessman, and if he takes his competitor to the brink and doesn't go over the brink, we're going to get a better deal. But if he goes over the brink it's going to be catastrophic. And right now with the soybeans and corn in my state it is catastrophic, with the drop in prices that we've had."

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The White House on Tuesday released a list of additional tariffs targeting $200 billion in Chinese goods, which a senior U.S. administration official told reporters was roughly equal to all Chinese exports to the United States.

Chinese officials, meanwhile, have accused President Trump of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history” with his administration's original round of tariffs.

"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people," the country's Commerce Ministry told CNN last week.