The U-S Ambassador to China visited the Iowa State Fair over the weekend. Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says the escalating trade troubles between the U-S and China are top-of-mind for many people, from politicians to ag producers. Ambassador Branstad was asked how long the trade war between the nations will likely continue.
“I wish I knew,” Branstad says. “We’re back at the bargaining table but we’ve got some big differences including things involving protecting intellectual property rights, stopping the stealing of technology and just getting access to their market in many areas.” The Trump Administration plans to impose another 10-percent tariff on 300-billion dollars worth of Chinese goods starting September 1st, and China is retaliating. Branstad says agriculture has been “really hurt” by that retaliation, as China has asked its state-owned companies to halt all purchases of U-S ag goods.
“There’s a lot of threats being made but they really need quality, reliable food from America,” Branstad says. “The Chinese people do appreciate both the quality as well as the dependability of American food. They have not always had that.” There are some indications the Chinese may be stalling any resolution until after the 2020 presidential election, but Branstad says that’s a mistake on several levels.
“This is not going to change just because there’s a change in party because both parties are tired of the way China is handling the situation,” Branstad says. “They want reciprocity and fairness and it’s a bipartisan issue. It doesn’t make sense for them to stall. They’re only hurting their own people as well as hurting the world economy.” Branstad says it will take persistence and patience for the two countries to strike a deal.