WASHINGTON — Trade talks with the European Union and China top the agenda this week in Washington D.C. and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will meet this afternoon with the new EU ambassador to the U.S.
Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, says reducing trade barriers between the U.S. and the EU will be good for economic growth and for creating jobs. “The United States and the European Union have mutual interests in having a strong economic relationship,” Grassley says. “Collectively, that’s about 45% of the global GDP (gross domestic product).”
In his talks with the ambassador, Grassley says he’ll press for a resolution of issues that can benefit Iowa farmers, as the EU has long opposed products grown in the U.S. that are genetically modified. “Agricultural issues need to be addressed,” Grassley says. “You’ve all heard me say that before, that I do not see how such an agreement can pass Congress if it doesn’t resolve some long-standing issues dealing with poultry and biotechnology, and probably other things.”
U.S. trade officials announced Monday night the U.S. would be enacting new tariffs on Chinese products, as Chinese trade officials are due in Washington later this week for the 11th round of talks. “I said that enough is enough a long time before even Trump was president,” Grassley says. “It’s time to strike a strong and forcible deal so farmers, businesses and consumers can get the certainty they need. I urge Chinese negotiators to swiftly bring these talks to a successful close.”
Grassley, a Republican, says Trump is the first president in memory “to call out China on their bad behavior” and bring them to the negotiating table.