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Getting ready to boost ag sales

By Staff | Feb 27, 2020

Mexico is a key market for the sale of Iowa’s agricultural products. With the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement due to take effect this year, the stage has been set for that already substantial trade partner to become even more significant for Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers.

With that in mind, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who heads the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, has just led a trade delegation south of the border to explore opportunities to boost agricultural exports to Mexico.

“I led a trade mission to Mexico in 2017, as the U.S. was starting to talk about updating NAFTA,” Naig said in a statement concerning this vital undertaking. “We are fortunate to be returning only weeks after the signing of the USMCA. I expect a sense of excitement and optimism among the representatives from both countries, and I look forward to engaging in positive and productive conversations that help grow this critical market for Iowa ag exports.”

Accompanying Naig were representatives of the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Corn, Iowa Pork Producers Association and assorted manufacturing industries. The effort was coordinated with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. IEDA staff members also took part in the trade mission. This venture is part of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ ongoing effort to enhance the marketing of Iowa’s products worldwide.

Even before the new possibilities for enhanced sales USMCA is making feasible, Iowa’s trade with Mexico was huge. That country is already the second largest consumer of agricultural products from our state. In 2018, for example, $2.1 billion in goods from Iowa were exported to Mexico. Here are some of the highlights of that impressive success story:

– Mexico is the top export market for Iowa corn. In 2018, those sales totaled $547 million.

– Animal feed and sugars from our state are much in demand in Mexico. In 2018, Iowa’s animal feed sales to Mexico reached $219 million. Not far behind were sugars at $190 million.

USMCA makes it possible to build even greater trade ties with our neighbor to the south. That’s very good news for Iowa agriculture.

Farm News applauds Naig’s leadership in moving so quickly to explore the additional business relationships in Mexico that the new trade pact can stimulate. IDALS has long been a vital part of the effort by Iowans to grow international sales. We’re glad to see the high priority Naig is giving to making even more robust the marketplace in Mexico for Iowa’s agricultural products.

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