Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Wednesday lamented the new wave of Chinese tariffs on United States soybeans and other products and suggested that President Donald Trump should have known the tariffs he imposed on Chinese goods would prompt a reaction from China that would hurt American farmers.
Grassley said that he warned the President about this possibility in February and, in a statement, called on lawmakers to help the Americans who will be hurt by the new tariffs.
“The Administration knew that if it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, China would retaliate against U.S. agriculture. I warned President Trump as much in a White House meeting in February,” Grassley said in the statement. “Today shows that’s exactly what happened. If the federal government takes action on trade that directly results in economic hardship for certain Americans, it has a responsibility to help those Americans and mitigate the damage it caused.”
Grassley, who is often quick to stand up for the agriculture industry in his state, said in the statement that he will address the impact of the new tariffs in the Senate Finance Committee and as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Trump administration imposed tariffs on China in retaliation for the country’s attempts to steal U.S. technologies and intellectual property. Trump, on the campaign trail, was skeptical of free trade, and pulled the U.S. out of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations soon after entering office. He has also pushed to re-write the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).