A Familiar Face: US Ambassador Branstad Working To Get Trade Resolved

The U.S. is escalating a trade war with China by proposing hundreds of billions of dollars more in tariffs. U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad says the Trump Administration wants more changes to Chinese policy.

In late June, Ambassador Branstad met with agriculture journalists in Beijing, China. He answered questions on the trading relationship between the two countries.

Branstad says, "we haven't done a very good job, protecting our interests over the last, say 20 years. The result is the trade deficit has gotten bigger and bigger."

The deficit, along with intellectual property infringements and a transfer of assets, caused the U.S. earlier this year to announce a tariff on China.

On Friday, a $34 billion duty went into effect on Chinese goods. China retaliated, one action being a 25 percent tariff on soybeans.

The Trump Administration announced a response to the retaliation by proposing $16 billion more in duties.

But on Tuesday, the Trump Administration escalated the trade war by announcing further action in the form of an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China, valued at around $200 billion.

Branstad says, "The administration is of the opinion, we need to bring these things to a head, we need to get those things resolved and I think the Chinese at the end of the day really want to have a good working relationship with the United States."

In a tweet a day after the tariff proposals, President Donald Trump says, "Soybeans fell 50% from 2012 to my election. Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"

Branstad explains China leaders say they do not want a trade war, but so far they have not made enough policy changes to avoid one, "Well, I've tried to explain to the Chinese that this new administration is not as patient as America has been in the past and that we feel, and the president feels, I think strongly, that America has not been treated fairly and this needs to change."