WASHINGTON — With news of a tentative trade deal between the U.S. and China, Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he welcomes progress — but with a healthy amount of caution.

Grassley, a Republican, says the initial information that’s being released on the accord “gives me hope, at least some hope” that the partial deal can be turned into a “full deal.” “I’m also under no illusions that this is going to be easy,” Grassley says. “After decades of broken promises from the Chinese, there should not be an agreement based on trust.”

Grassley says any agreement must have “enforcement mechanisms” which would bind China into compliance. He notes, China has made similar deals in the past to purchase U.S. ag products, deals from which that nation eventually backed away. “Time again, China has proven it has no problem shirking its responsibilities in international rules-based trade,” Grassley says. “It has a very dismal record on forced technology transfers, intellectual property, and currency manipulation.”

Under the tentative deal, China has reportedly agreed to purchase between 40 and 50-billion dollars in U.S. agricultural goods, but did not offer a timeline for the purchase. Grassley says, “All this leaves me skeptical that China’s willing to change overnight unless it sees that they’re doing so in its own best interests.”

Grassley says he should know more about the pending deal tomorrow as he’s to meet with the U.S. trade representative to discuss progress. One recent study says Iowa farmers and businesses have faced $343 million in retaliatory tariffs since the trade war began in February of 2018.

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