GOP lawmaker on China trade war: 'It's not great for farmers'

A GOP lawmaker on Wednesday weighed in on escalating tensions over the Trump administration's trade policy, saying the ongoing trade battle with China is "not great for farmers."

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel Kinzinger GOP lawmaker decries 'send her back' chants: 'This ugliness must end' House panel advances bill to protect elections from foreign interference GOP lawmakers say Trump wrong to criticize Biden in Japan MORE (R-Ill.) responded on CNN’s “New Day” to a clip of a farmer in his district saying farmers are “taking it on the jaw” as a result of tariffs levied by the Trump administration.

“Look, it’s not great for farmers and here’s why: The Chinese have basically decided to go after Trump’s base,” Kinzinger said, referring to China's past moves to retaliate against Trump's tariffs by taxing imports from major U.S. agriculture products in heartland states.


“It’s not something I like. I would do some things differently than the president,” Kinzinger continued, saying he would have entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and would not have engaged in trade-related skirmishes with European nations, but added that confronting China “should have been done 10 or 20 years ago.”

“There’s some pain and it’s terrible and we need to do everything we can to make sure we alleviate that as much as possible,” Kinzinger added.

He argued that passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE’s proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), could lessen some of the hardships, accusing congressional Democrats who “don’t want to give Trump a win” of holding it up.

The Trump administration announced it would hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products earlier this month after talks broke down between U.S. and Chinese representatives over issues such as intellectual property theft. Trump has insisted the U.S. is “in a fantastic position” in the trade war. China retaliated by moving to impose tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods.