DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa legislators and agriculture associations say they believe the new trade deal with China is excellent news for the state, its economy and farmers.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said the phase one trade agreement with China is good for the United States and Iowa, but it's only the beginning of the changes he and Iowa farmers hope to see.
"It's something we've been hoping for and working for for many months now, and it is certainly not the comprehensive trade agreement that we all know that we need ultimately with China, but I think it's great evidence of continued progress, and if the deal can include purchasing more U.S. agriculture products, that's a good thing," Naig said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley said he thinks President Donald Trump has made the right choices with this particular trade agreement and he hopes China will be purchasing billions from the U.S.
"If I was going to quantify it, I think it's going to fall into the area of 40 to 50 billion dollars of purchases over the next two years, and I think it's going to be mostly grain and pork from the United States," Grassley said.
Sen. Joni Ernst responded with this statement, “As Iowa’s fourth largest trading partner, China is a critically important market for our farmers and manufacturers. I’m glad to see there will be no new tariffs going into effect this week. China has been a bad actor for years, and this president has consistently stood up to their harmful trade tactics and worked to get a good deal in place, one that will especially benefit Iowa agriculture. I’m grateful to President Trump and his administration for their commitment to securing a phase one deal. It’s time for China to follow through.”
The Iowa Soybean Association said the last several years have been very tough on farmers, not only with trade and markets, but also with weather and other difficult factors which they hope can begin to be alleviated with more market certainty.
"We have to start making those plans for the next crop season already. We just finished the last harvest and we'll have plans that we'll have to start making for the next harvest season. So, one thing that we would like to see is market certainty, so the sooner a deal can be finalized and signed, the better market certainty is going to provide for all of our producers," Iowa Soybean Association Director of Market Development Grant Kimberley said.