WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, issued the following statement after her meeting at the White House to discuss the importance of our agricultural economy:

“We had a productive meeting today with President Trump and Secretary Perdue to discuss ways to support our agriculture industry and help secure greater certainty for our farmers.

“In light of the growing concerns I’ve heard from Iowans regarding tariffs, I immediately brought up the importance of renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Iowa farmers aren’t looking for another subsidy program, rather they want new and improved market access, which is critical to rural economies. I’m so pleased that the President asked his administration to reengage in these discussions with other TPP countries, and is continuing his work to negotiate a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal. There is a growing demand for U.S. agricultural products around the world, and American farmers and manufacturers should be able to compete in these markets.

“Additionally, I was glad to hear the President support the sale of E15 year round. My colleagues and I previously offered legislation to break down the barriers that have impeded retailers and consumers from accessing E15 during the summer months, ultimately lowering the cost at the pump for folks across the country.

“Moreover, we must continue pursuing policies that enhance our competitiveness, rather than reducing our access to foreign markets. I remain committed to working with the Trump administration toward a stronger trade agenda on behalf of Iowans.”