Ernst discusses importance of trade in Iowa

Joni Ernst TPA Press ConferenceBy The Iowa Statesman


Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), and small business owners from Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky to discuss the need for Trade Promotion Authority and its importance to small businesses and industries across the country.

In her comments during the press release, Ernst said Iowa stands to directly benefit by opening up the international trade that would boost agricultural exports and provide new market opportunities, reduce trade barriers, and, for manufacturers, create more jobs. She said she received a letter Monday evening from more than 70 Iowa leaders, both in the private industry.

The letter included a number of “really interesting statistics,” including:

• In 2014, Iowa exported a record-setting $15.1 billion in manufactured goods and value-added agricultural products.

• Nearly 83% of these exports came from small or medium-sized businesses.

• Iowa farmers exported more than $3.5 billion in soybeans, nearly $2 billion in pork, $1.7 billion in corn and slightly more than $1 billion in feed grain.

“I want you to consider this, too, because this is pretty astounding for Iowa,” she added. “According to the Business Roundtable, over 448,000 Iowa jobs are directly tied to trade. That is nearly one in every five jobs in Iowa directly associated to trade. So we are proud supporters of this TPA. I’ve been encouraged by so many members in Iowa to be supportive of this measure, I am glad to see that we are moving this legislation. We have over 3,300 Iowa-based companies that have exported to nearly 190 countries all around the world.”

In closing, Ernst said she hoped to see the trade bill move forward “this week” in the Senate. Scroll down to see archive video of the press conference.