WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today met with President Trump's nominee to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Mr. Robert Lighthizer. Following the meeting, Senator Ernst issued this statement:

“With Iowa leading the nation in pork, corn, egg, and soybean production, it is key for our state that we work to maintain and strengthen existing trade agreements and pursue new ones. Throughout my 99 county tour in Iowa, I hear from farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers who agree that we must seek an aggressive trade policy, so that Iowans are able to sell their goods competitively in the global market.

“Recently, I encouraged President Trump to address trade barriers over pork and beef with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Today, I emphasized to Mr. Lighthizer the importance of fighting for increased access to agricultural markets around the world.

“While I am a strong proponent of aggressive trade enforcement against countries like China and Mexico, I encouraged Mr. Lighthizer to work to find ways to mitigate risks of any retaliatory measures directed at U.S. agricultural exports like corn and soybeans.

“It was a thorough discussion, and I look forward to continuing to vet him for this position and ensuring he will focus on trade priorities important to Iowans."