Trade policy has a significant impact on Iowa's farmers. The success of our rural economies depends on expanding markets for U.S. agricultural products. We look forward to working with President Trump and his Administration in the coming years to ensure that Iowa farmers are both economically viable and globally competitive.  

For Iowa agriculture to thrive, we need trade agreements that recognize how important it is that the U.S. meat and grain industries including beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and biofuels, have market access at a competitive level in North America and across the globe.  As an organization, we are committed to banding with other farm organizations in working with President Trump's Administration on ways to both preserve and expand upon agriculture sector gains achieved in the North American market.

Since its passage more than two decades ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has profoundly changed North American agriculture. NAFTA eliminated nearly all tariff and quota restrictions in agriculture resulting in an integrated system between Canada, Mexico and the United States. This has propelled these countries to the top of the U.S. list in importance for agricultural trade. For the past 20 years, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico tripled and quintupled, respectively. One in every 10 acres on American farms is planted to feed our neighbors to the north and south.

Mexico is the number one market for U.S. corn and the number two market for U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Canada ranks as our ninth largest customer for U.S. corn, DDGS, and ethanol.  To give an example of how NAFTA has benefited the corn sector, prior to the agreement, Mexico maintained strict controls on grains via licensing requirements and provided guaranteed prices to their domestic producers of many field crops, including corn. Under NAFTA, Mexico transitioned to a system featuring duty-free trade with the U.S. and Canada and rising demand for feed and food has created new opportunities for intraregional trade in grains.

The U.S. meat industry has also benefited from duty-free access to Mexico and Canada. In 2016, the value red meat exports from corn production in Iowa is valued at $315 million (USDA). These are both top five markets for beef and pork, with Mexico being the leading volume market for pork and second largest market for beef.

Iowa farmers want to continue to serve this important international customer base and further expand our export opportunities. We look forward to working the Trump Administration to preserve and expand our competitive edge in agriculture as he improves this vital agreement.

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