Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig were joined by other state leaders Tuesday as they welcomed the Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission. The group was in Iowa to sign letters of intent that stated they will buy $2.6 billion in US corn and soybeans.

Taiwan has had a significant impact on Iowa’s economy for years, says Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

It's the 12th largest purchaser of Iowa products, with a total of $304 million of goods sold in Taiwan last year. Iowa exports to Taiwan have been growing for the last five years, and are up again this year.

The letter states Taiwan’s intent to purchase between 96 million and 107 million bushels of U.S. soybeans and 59 million bushels of corn between 2023 and 2024.

In 2021, Taiwan bought $305 million in manufactured and value-added goods. Just in the first half of 2022, Iowa increased its exports to Taiwan by 4 percent. Taiwan’s Deputy Ministry of Agriculture Chin-Cheng Huang says trade with the U.S. is important for Taiwan to get products they aren’t able to produce.

So not only the soybean and the wheat we also import much such as beef and pork and chicken meat… In Taiwan, we don't have any beef. So, all the beef is from foreign countries; I think about 60% of beef is from the US. These versatile agricultural ties show that we are so close to each other in terms of what we grow and what we eat.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Corn Growers Association, and the Iowa Soybean Association were all present at the signing, giving the Taiwanese delegation the chance to meet the farmers growing the products they pledged to buy.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig adds that farmers all over the state are either preparing or already getting in the field to harvest that product that will be shipped around the world.

And we celebrate that global connection, that global position and we feel a very close connection with our trading partners. Trade matters to Iowa as a leading exporter of food and ag products. We see great value in the type of commitment that you all signed today.

In total, Taiwan imported $3.9 billion worth of American farm products in 2021, making it the fourth largest market on a per capita basis among the top 10 U.S. agricultural export destinations and the seventh largest market for U.S. soybeans.

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