The U.S. Midwest state of Iowa on Monday published a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, in which the farm belt state urged swift actions on the U.S. side to resolve the Section 301 trade dispute with China in a way that does not hurt the state's economy.
The letter, written on May 10 and carried by Gazetteonline Monday, was signed by Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and presidents and CEOs of 10 industrial associations in Iowa.
Noting that trade is vitally important to the health of Iowa's economy, the letter said the agricultural products coming out of Iowa contribute to one of the country's few trade surpluses.
"China is an extremely important market for our state. One-third of our state's 5 billion dollars' soybean crop is exported to China. The U.S. exports more than 1 billion dollars of pork to China and Iowa farmers are responsible for 30 percent of our country's pork production. The China market was just recently reopened to U.S. beef after more than 15 years of delays and is a tremendous potential market for the 4 million head of cattle being cared for in our state," the letter said.
Iowa also leads the nation in corn and ethanol production, both now facing additional trade barriers, the letter added.
In response to U.S. trade offensives against China earlier this year, China announced a list of U.S. imports that could face hefty tariffs should Washington proceed with its unilateral trade moves against China.
U.S. Soybeans and pork are among the items targeted by China.
Iowa is a globally-recognized, highly productive agricultural state that depends on open access to international markets. "For our farmers to be successful, we need to grow, not contract, our markets," the letter said.