DES MOINES, Iowa -- Members from the Chinese delegation are in Des Moines on Thursday to continue the country's agricultural trade relationship with Iowa.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds along with 38 members of the delegation signed two dozen contracts to buy soybeans and health products, totaling $5.3 billion on Thursday. The Chinese nearly purchased the states entire annual yield, 13.8 million metric tons. On average, Iowa produces 13 to 15 million metric ton of soybeans.
A soybean farmer from Northwestern Iowa says the trade provides security.
"It's ensuring us, even though we are going to have a bumper crop, that we will be able to find a home for all these soybeans," said Laura Foell.
Last year, China was Iowa's fourth largest export market, exporting close to $950 million of food and fuel. This year, Iowa is already above pace to export even more goods than last year, moving it into third place.
"The state of Iowa has enjoyed a long lasting friendship with our sister state Hebei and with President Xi. We are proud of this relationship and the quality of our goods and services that are exported to China,” said Governor Branstad in a press release.
International business experts say the trade will make Iowa stand out globally. Despite tensions between the US and China, a civil agreement will help neutralize the nations differences.
"So hopefully all of the good things that come out of these sorts of agreements, it will offset some of the more difficult points in our relationships with China at the moment," says Drake Professor, Jeff Kappen.
The Governor met with China's president, Xi Jinping, on Thursday in Seattle, Washington at the third annual U.S -China Governor's Forum and Dialogue.