Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad yesterday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese governors from the provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Shaanxi in Seattle, Wash. Their conversations were during the Third Annual U.S.–China Governors Forum and Dialogue, which was arranged by the Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the state of Washington. In addition to Iowa, the states of California, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington also participated.
During the forum, Branstad highlighted Iowa’s leadership in agriculture, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and financial services, and stressed the importance in finding stability and predictability in regulations related to trait approval for products and services. As a leading agriculture state in the nation, Iowa farmers produce food, fiber and fuel that are exported to China.
Last year, the United States shipped $24 billion worth of agriculture products to China, and $14 billion of that were soy exports. That same year, China was Iowa’s 4th largest export market with exports of manufactured and valued goods exceeding $946.4 million. Overall exports to China for the first six months of this year are up more than 63% over that same period in 2014, moving China to Iowa’s third largest export market.
“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 Branstad.
As a follow up to these meetings in Seattle, a large Chinese commercial delegation will travel to Iowa on Thursday to sign more than a dozen contracts to purchase soybeans and health products.
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds expressed her appreciation for the Chinese delegation’s visit to Iowa. “We are excited to welcome the Chinese commercial delegation to Iowa. The signing of these contracts will highlight our world-class agricultural commodities throughout Iowa while delivering quality products to the Chinese people,” said Reynolds.
The contract signing event will occur on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 12:15PM at The Embassy Club—Downtown (666 Grand Avenue-34th Floor, Des Moines, IA). Lt. Gov. Reynolds will be present for the contract signing ceremony and the event is open to the press.