Ag and Finance Senator Chuck Grassley says the UKâ€™s new Prime Minister Liz Truss badly wants a free trade deal with the U.S., but adds, sheâ€™s not the problem.
Grassley says the White House, not the UK and new Prime Minister Liz Truss, is dragging its feet on a free trade agreement. â€œTruss was in my office on 2020 and again on 2021, and thatâ€™s all we talked about, was the UK agreement. So, I would expect that she ought to be pushing for that.â€
Grassley argues the U.S. and UK are a good match for a free trade deal, key for U.S. agriculture.
â€œThereâ€™s really no excuse for not moving on (it), because our societies and economies are so similar.â€
But Grassley charges the White House doesnâ€™t want to upset the unions with an FTA. And U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai told Senators earlier, the administration wants to move on from market opening deals that are politically difficult to pass.
Yet Grassley still planned to vote in committee this week for Doug McKalip to be the next U.S. Chief Ag Negotiator.
â€œListen, the problem isnâ€™t the nominee, the problem is the White House not even wanting to use the words, â€˜free trade.â€™ Not to talk about negotiating tariff reductions.â€
Grassley and others complain itâ€™s taken 20 months for the president to nominate someone for the Ag trade post and another one at USDA.