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Iowa Soybean Association recommends timely confirmation of Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China

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Statement courtesy of Iowa Soybean Association President Rolland Schnell who farms near Newton in Jasper County

“Gov. Branstad’s insights and experiences shared in today’s hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee underscores his unique qualifications for U.S. Ambassador to China. Iowa soybean farmers urge his timely confirmation so he can immediately go to work on behalf of Iowa, U.S. farmers and all who rely on this strategic trade partner.

“He is the right person at the right time to serve as ambassador. Decades of work and time spent in China have built a tightknit bond in state-to-province relationships between Gov. Branstad, Iowa and the country of nearly 1.4 billion people. He has known China President Xi Jinping for decades, hosted the Chinese leader for visits to Iowa and made many trips to China, including several as a participant in trade missions with the Iowa Soybean Association.

“Hundreds of millions of Chinese – a number exceeding the U.S. population – will join the middle class during the next decade. That means more protein consumption, thus increased demand for meat and soy. Iowa and U.S. farmers stand ready to provide grains, oilseeds and other agricultural products in abundance to help meet this demand.

“Strong trade relations between the United States and China cannot be overstated. When President Xi visited Iowa in 2012, he noted that agricultural trade with Iowa and the United States is the foundation of strong bilateral relationships for both countries. Gov. Branstad will continue to be a tireless supporter of trade between the two countries and a friend to American agriculture. He has demonstrated true leadership for agriculture as the nation’s longest-serving governor and will continue to do so as U.S. Trade Ambassador to China. His timely confirmation is important and deserved.”

Facts about Gov. Branstad, President Xi Jinping and
Iowa/U.S. soybeans exports to China

  • China is by far the largest soybean importer project at 83 million metric tons, or a little more than 3 billion bushels, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
  • U.S. market share of China’s soybean demand is 36.5 percent (nearly 1.1 billion bushels).
  • About one out of every four rows of U.S. soybeans is exported to China.
  • About one out of every four rows of Iowa soybeans is exported to China.
  • Iowa farmers produced 572 million bushels of soybeans last year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • China first started importing soybeans in the mid-1990s.
  • S. soybean exports went from virtually nothing to more than 1 billion bushels today, growing every year to feed the world’s largest population that is becoming more affluent.
  • Soybeans are crushed into soybean meal in China to feed its 730 million pigs. Chickens are the second largest consumer of meal. China is the world’s No. 1 egg producer. Soybean oil is needed for cooking.
  • Iowa inked a sister-state relationship with Hebei Province in 1983.
  • China is Iowa’s second-largest export market behind Canada. Iowa exported $2.3 billion in goods and $273 million in services to China in 2015, data shows Crops, led by soybeans, accounted for some $1.4 billion of the exports.

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at

©2017 Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network®. All rights reserved. On-Farm Network® is a registered trademark of the Iowa Soybean Association, Ankeny, IA.Portions of some On-Farm Network trials are paid for in total or in part by the soybean checkoff.

Iowa Soybean Association | On-Farm Network | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

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Iowa Soybean Review

August 2017 Contact Ann Clinton for past publications.