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Iowa Agriculture Secretary & AFF Spokesperson Mike Naig: “Securing NAFTA 2.0 Would Be A Significant Step”

Yesterday, Iowa Agriculture Secretary and AFF spokesperson Mike Naig joined CNBC’s “Closing Bell” to discuss trade relations with China and our NAFTA partners.

CNBC’S SARA EISEN: “So Secretary Naig, you heard the president saying if China retaliates against our ranchers and farmers, there will be more tariffs.  Do you support and do your members of your farming community support the President’s actions or is it hurting the wallets?”

MIKE NAIG: “Well, as we head into the 2018 harvest season for corn and soybean out here in Iowa, this escalation of the trade conflict really couldn’t come at a worse time.  So, it is impacting our markets, and that’s impacting our farmers. So, our farmers understand that there are issues that need to be resolved, particularly with China, but there is no doubt that the retaliatory tariffs are impacting our marketplace and that’s impacting our producers negatively.”

EISEN: “Secretary Naig, how big of a market is China for your community?”

NAIG: “Well, for China, the top issue that we talk about is soybean production here and so roughly one-third of our soybeans go to China so it’s a significant impact on that, that soybean market.”

CNBC’S WILFRED FROST: “Mike, you encouraged though, sorry Secretary Naig, are you encouraged though to see some of the progress that has been made with the likes of Mexico, if something similar happened with Canada, do you think you and your constituents would be encouraged and would that offset the kind of negative rhetoric and the escalating trade tariffs with China?”

NAIG: “Absolutely, and there’s definitely, folks appreciate the fact that we seem to be making some progress here with NAFTA. We really do need in Iowa, Canada and Mexico are our number one and number two trading partners, and so securing NAFTA 2.0 would be a significant step in the right direction for Iowa.  And then if we could carry that momentum into China but also beyond that and reengaging with some countries and expanding markets that were involved in the TPP agreement – Japan, Vietnam, South Korea – those would all be positive things too.  So our farmers are looking for the administration to really play offense on trade as well.”

To access the video, click here.

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