Grassley visits Hampton

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, right, visited the Hampton Farm Bureau office last Thursday to talk to area Farm Bureau members about issues facing farmers in 2018. GREG FORBES/HAMPTON CHRONICLE

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's 99 county tour stopped in Hampton Thursday.

Grassley visited the Franklin County Farm Bureau Office to speak with members from the area about issues facing farmers in the coming year. He touched on a number of issues, including President Donald Trump's recent executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Grassley said the United States would be "better off" had Trump not decided to pull out of the agreement. He added that recent talks to enter a bilateral trade with Japan are also questionable, as Japan is hesitant to negotiate because it would take pressure off the United States to rejoin the TPP.

As far as the North American Free Trade Agreement, Grassley said it's important those relationships continue and are smartly negotiated by the administration. Since NAFTA's introduction in 1993, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have increased from $8.9 billion to $38 billion annually. Grassley said free trade agreements are vital to not only the country, but Iowa farmers as well.

"We need to make sure that we don't hurt our free trade agreements because we export so much," he said.

Read the full story in the February 7 edition.