Grassley Unimpressed After Tai’s Speech

Senior trade Senator Chuck Grassley said he fears the Administration is “throwing in the towel” on a China Phase Two deal, after a recent speech by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Grassley cited Tai’s comments that China has not lived up to its Phase One commitments on Ag buys and import standards and is an “unpredictable market” for American Agriculture.

“Ambassador Tai made no mention of getting a Phase Two agreement, where we could focus on China’s non-market trade practices…it seems like the Biden Administration then, without pursuing Phase Two, is throwing in the towel.”

Grassley said Tai’s restarting tariff exclusions for U.S. businesses shows the administration will still use tariffs similar to the Trump Administration, but not as a way to force China to negotiate. And when it comes to the Administration’s approach to other trade deals.

“Well, it’s not going to create new markets, and that’s the problem. I hope it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to enforce existing trade agreements, they surely wouldn’t be lax in that area.  And I suppose it’s this administration’s emphasis on domestic policy is just overriding.”

Grassley said he wishes Tai was “battling” within the Administration to do more on trade. He added with China at 89% of its Ag commitments at this point, Grassley feels the nation could still reach its $80 billion two-year target. 

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