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At Ag Hearing, Ernst Calls for Increased Trade Agreements to Strengthen Agricultural Economy & National Security

Ernst: “I believe good trade partners make great friends.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, questioned industry leaders on how best to promote the United States’ agricultural bounty abroad in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill, and highlighted the importance of international trade agreements to benefit not only the agricultural economy, but our national security.

Specifically, the Iowa Senator requested input on the recent trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Japan. As the largest market for U.S. exports of beef, pork, and potatoes, and in light of the EU-Japan agreement, Senator Ernst and the witnesses agreed on the importance of the U.S. negotiating its own bilateral trade agreement with Japan to lower burdensome tariffs and protect that relationship for the agricultural community.

Despite the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Senator Ernst also reaffirmed her support for it and the critical role it would play for not only our agricultural producers, but in our national security interests and partnerships abroad: “I firmly believed in TPP as far as our agricultural commodity products, and getting those into those countries we believe could be very good trade partners for us… Not only do I see this as a good trade opportunity with those nations, but I also see it as a national security issue, because if we are not participating in trade with these nations, there is certainly another country in that region that will step in, and that country is China… I believe that good trade partners make good friends.”

Click here or on the image below to watch Senator Ernst’s questioning.