In Case You Missed It
Agriculture Should Not Be A Bargaining Chip In Trade And Energy Disputes
April 18, 2018
Des Moines Register
Rural and urban, Republican and Democrat … we’re all Iowans. And as challenges come our way, we set aside our differences and work together to find a solution.
In the last two weeks, we have seen China propose tariffs on Iowa goods such as pork and soybeans that would have a negative effect on our farm economy.
At the same time, we have an EPA administrator who continues to align himself with “big oil” at the expense of our homegrown, renewable fuels. This, too, could have a harmful impact on our farm families and rural communities who have built this industry that provides quality jobs and valuable markets for our crops.
It’s no secret we have a complex trading relationship with China, and those concerns need to be addressed. At the same time, leveraging agriculture to address those issues is not the right response from our nation.
U.S. News and World Report’s recent ranking of Iowa as the best state in the nation comes as no surprise to me. We have great education, cutting-edge technology and have been blessed with the most productive farmland in the world.
Above all else, what I have seen all my life, and continue to witness during my travels to all corners of the state, is that the people of Iowa continue to be our greatest competitive advantage.
It’s not just our fertile land that makes Iowa agriculture world-class. It’s our ingenuity and continued commitment to innovation that has paved the way to growth and leadership. Whether it’s through progress on water quality or improving yields, we do not settle.
We’ve seen national and international media descend on our state to cover these recent issues. We invite those in Washington who are setting policy that impacts the livelihood of those connected to agriculture to visit us. Have real conversations with us. See the impact these policies have on our businesses and families.
There is one thing that is certain. Iowans will continue to get up to work early every morning and produce. It’s what we do. And those of us in positions to lead will continue to send this message to Washington D.C., and let them know agriculture should not be a bargaining chip in trade and energy disputes.
Mike Naig is Iowa’s secretary of agriculture.
To access the op-ed, click here.