Trade plays an important role in Iowa’s economy. According to the Business Roundtable more than one in every five jobs in Iowa – over 456,000 jobs – depend on international trade. Moreover, according to the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, since 2010 the value of Iowa’s exports increased by nearly 22 percent.

Iowans’ strong work ethic and ingenuity place our manufacturers, famers, and service providers in a position to compete in the global market – provided they are operating on a level playing field. Accordingly, Iowa stands to directly benefit from new international free trade agreements that would promote fairness by reducing trade barriers, enhancing transparency, and cutting red tape.

That is why I supported the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, passed by Congress in 2015, to set out Congress’s trade priorities and foster greater accountability and transparency in trade negotiations in order to ensure we get the best trade deals possible.

While I was disappointed in the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I will encourage the administration to pursue increased trade opportunities for our exporters and ensure a level playing field so that American farmers and manufacturers have a fair opportunity to compete.

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of our borders, opening up more free trade opportunities is vital to Iowa’s future and the health of our national economy. Ultimately, exporting more of what we make, develop, raise, and grow in America will help to boost manufacturing, wages, and jobs right here at home. 

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