May 26, 2022
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Grassley—China Should be Sanctioned if it Helps Russia, Despite Risk to Ag 

A top Ag senator says China should be sanctioned if it helps Russia avoid sanctions over Ukraine, despite the risk to U.S. farm exports.

Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley says the U.S. is in a trade war with China all the time, anyway. Grassley, “If we expect the rest of the world not to help Russia, the rest of the world includes China, and we ought to put the same sanctions on them, that we put on other countries.”

Answering the question of whether he’s concerned China sanctions could backfire on U.S. farm exports.

Meantime, Grassley complains the Biden team, including USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, must do more on trade like name a pick for an Ag trade undersecretary. Grassley, “What is Biden waiting for? We don’t even have the ambassador for agriculture in the special trade representative’s office approved yet, it may not even be out of committee. But Vilsack could fill a big void, whether he’s got a deputy secretary of Ag for trade, or just doing it with other people, he could sure make up with the lackadaisical approach that this administration’s taken to trade.”

Vilsack argues the administration has made progress in both enforcing existing trade deals, and through ongoing trade missions and talks, expanding Ag trade.

Separately, Grassley does see progress on his cattle market reform push, despite it not being part of the just-enacted budget bill. Grassley,  “The fact that this didn’t get in the ominibus appropriation bill doesn’t hurt us, as long as the Livestock Mandatory Reporting legislation, is only extended to September 30.”

Leaving another shot at linking up with mandatory reporting, a freestanding bill, or pending antitrust legislation.

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