Taiwan officials and US Congressman promote agricultural trade in Iowa

The Taiwanese government is set to sign a new deal to increase soybean imports from Iowa and surrounding states

State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa

State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A delegation from the Taiwan representative office in the U.S. along with Congressman Steve King have been touring the state of Iowa lobbying for increased agricultural trade between Iowa and Taiwan.

Local media in Iowa reports that last week,Taiwanese trade officials signed a letter of intent to purchase soybeans harvested from Iowa and neighboring states.

As some farmers in the U.S. have had their business disrupted due to the trade war with China, many are looking for partnerships with other countries.

In Autumn 2017, Taiwan purchased US$2.8 billion of American grain, but that will increase by US$1.5 billion (30 percent) by this time in 2019, according to local reports.

Representatives from Taiwan have been busy over recent months in the U.S.. Over the weekend, the director of the Taipei Representative Office in Chicago, Eric Huang, accompanied Congressman King to tour several farms around northeast Iowa, to meet the farmers that will be supplying Taiwan with soybeans beginning next year.

King was quoted by local media as saying:

"In market share of the soybean purchased by Taiwan is now moving up to about 80% comes from the U.S. and it was a little closer to 50/50 … the U.S. share has increased and the lions share come from Iowa, so when there is more demand, we sell more grain and that raises the market for everybody and that's what we are trying to do."

While visiting a soybean farm in Nevada, Iowa, Eric Huang said, “It's not only about the business to business relationship but also business to consumer relationship where they can witness the quality.”

Huang expressed his gratitude for the farmers and trade officials for meeting with him, and he expressed optimism for future trade between Taiwan and Iowa, reports Messenger News.

An official agreement between the Taiwanese delegation and the Iowa trade office will be signed Monday afternoon (U.S. time) at the State Capital in Des Moines, according to reports.

King reportedly told the delegation, “It gives you a real sense of how predictable and how reliable the United States, and especially Iowa, is as a source of grains we expect you’ll be importing for a long time.”

In other US trade related news, the state of Wyoming recently announced that the state would open an official trade office in Taiwan, joining Washington and Idaho with an office at the Taipei World Trade Center.