Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley says America must “hold China’s feet to the fire” to get a fair trade deal. Hawley, a Republican and strong ally of President Donald Trump, says he does not anticipate an end approaching to the trade standoff.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (left) speaks with President Donald Trump on March 14, 2018, after Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (file photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

“We have got to insist now that we get a good deal that we can enforce for the future,” Hawley tells Missourinet affiliate KWPM in West Plains. “In the meantime, we’ve got to work to open up other markets on terms that are good for us and for our farmers around the world.”

During a visit to southern Missouri’s West Plains, the Republican and strong ally of President Trump, says he has heard from farmers across the state about how they are being impacted by Chinese tariffs.

“Our farmers have been a focus of retaliation by China which is just another bad thing that China has done,” Hawley says. “They’ve been ripping us off for years. They won’t give us a fair trade deal. What the president tells me is that they will not agree to any enforcement mechanism in the deal. We’ve got to insist on a deal that opens up their market and the entire region to our producers, that includes our farmers and manufacturers, on terms that are enforceable. If we don’t do that now, my fear is that China will eventually shut us out of the whole region.”

Missouri Republican Congressman Billy Long – another strong Trump ally – says he thinks it’s time to bring the trade battle to a close. Long, from southwest Missouri’s Springfield, says he’s given the president the benefit of the doubt on the issue and so have farmers.

Trump says China has called the U.S. twice since his threat Friday to boost tariffs on Chinese products and says he thinks there’s going to be a deal. China has denied calling.

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