This week, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig returned from a trade mission to China. The trip was a chance for the USDA, eight state departments of agriculture, and 28 agribusinesses to network with Chinese counterparts in northeast China, part of the country currently undergoing significant growth.
Naig says that region isn't so different from the Midwest; it's historically agricultural and has an economy based on manufacturing.
He found the mission to be a success, and says going on it made clear the importance of previous yet similar trips, particularly by commodity groups, on forging a long-lasting partnership with China.
Naig says, "The record export numbers that we're seeing today are really built on a lot of work that's been done over decades and we need to have a very long view of what this relationship looks like. We need to be able to take advantage of short term opportunities certainly but we need to have a very long view. I don't see any other relationship becoming more important or more valuable than the U.S. China trade relationship for the next several decades."