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Iowa Ag Secretary: "There's momentum building on trade"

Posted: Thu, Nov 1, 2018 8:37 AM

With less than a week left before the November 6th election, Acting Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is traveling the state, making his case for being selected by voters.

Naig tells during a stop Thursday morning that farm prices continue to be at the top of the mind of everyone he's been talking with.  Naig says the current prices are not sustainable, but there are several signs of progress in resolving trade issues.

For instance, one-on-one discussions have begun with Japanese representatives.  Naig also praises the work done by federal negotiators to reach agreement on a new trade agreement to replace NAFTA.  "There's momentum building," he notes.

Naig says Iowa farmers will need to find new markets in order to prosper, however.  He says that will involve not only renewable fuel production, but expanding domestic markets and finding ways that biofuels can be used instead of petroleum in some manufacturing.

The USDA this week announced it would be making a second round of tariff aid payments in December.  But the USDA also said there probably would not be further payments in 2019.  Naig says that means finding new markets will be even more important in the future.