Statement courtesy of Iowa Soybean Association President Lindsay Greiner of Keota
(Orlando, Florida) Today’s arbitrary deadline to demonstrate progress toward resolving the trade dispute between the United States and China has arrived.
With no tangible results for eliminating Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans, Iowa soybean farmers urge the Administration to step up the pace and scale of action on other key policy initiatives to provide a much-needed boost to farmers and the industry.
First, finalize the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and bilateral trade agreements with other key U.S. trading partners including Japan while increasing resources for market development opportunities in Egypt, India, North Africa, Philippines, Vietnam and Korea. With China committing to less than one-third of its historical annual purchase of U.S. soybeans, increasing sales elsewhere is critical.
Second, boost domestic demand of soybeans by stimulating expanded production and usage of biodiesel. This includes an aggressive extension of the biodiesel tax credit and eliminating waivers granted to the petroleum industry. Biodiesel production currently consumes roughly 35 percent of the domestic soybean oil inventory (around 8 billion pounds) while adding 63 cents to the market value of every bushel of soybeans. More production and usage of biodiesel is good for the environment, motorists and farmers.
Finally, continued deterioration of our farm-to-market infrastructure adds costs to farmers and disrupts our ability to be a reliable supplier to local and global markets. There is bipartisan support for advancing infrastructure initiatives that benefit urban and rural areas. These include maintenance and rehabilitation of locks and dams, dredging the lower Mississippi River to facilitate the movement of larger vessels to the Gulf and providing block grants to states to replace dilapidated rural bridges.
The need for progress is urgent. Farmers and Iowa’s rural communities are being hit hard by the continued inaction on resolving trade disputes. Developing new markets, increasing biodiesel production and improving our nation’s infrastructure are meaningful initiatives that should enjoy bipartisan support and provide positive momentum as soybean farmers head to the fields this spring.
Not funded by the soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.