Following visits to Iowa farms last week, a delegation of Taiwanese trade representatives announced agreements to purchase an estimated $2.6 billion in corn and soybeans from the United States over the next two years.

The delegation from Taiwan joined Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig Sept. 20 at the Iowa Capitol to sign letters of intent to buy about 100 million bushels of U.S. soybeans and nearly 60 million bushels of U.S. corn.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Brent Johnson attended in support of the signing, saying agreements such as this increase opportunities for Iowa’s farmers. “With an estimated value of $2.6 billion, these agreements will grow our strong relationship with Taiwan, a longstanding trade partner, and will provide an economic boost to farming communities across the state,” Johnson said.

“As national leaders in corn and soybean production, Iowa farmers have never been more efficient and productive.”

Iowa Corn Promotion Board President Larry Buss and Iowa Soybean Association President Randy Miller also appeared at the event, signing the letters of intent with Reynolds and Naig.

“Today’s letters of intent represent the next stage of Iowa’s longstanding, bilateral friendship with Taiwan,” said Reynolds.

“They’re also powerful proof of Iowa farmers’ global reputation for high-quality agricultural production — and the enormous benefits that flow to our economy as a result. I’m deeply grateful to Taiwan for committing to Iowa, and I can’t wait to see where this relationship goes in the future.”  

Taiwan is Iowa’s 12th largest trading partner, with ex­ports estimated at $305 million in manufactured and value-added goods in 2021. In the first half of 2022, Iowa’s exports to Taiwan have increased 4% compared to last year.  

“Our longstanding friendship and our growing trading partnership with Taiwan are positives for Iowa’s economy and farmers, and we sincerely appreciate their letter of intent to purchase more corn and soybeans,” Naig said.

The Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission delegation’s itinerary included visits with elected officials, ag producers and commodity groups, and university representatives.

“It was an honor to join Gov. Reynolds and Secretary Naig in welcoming a delegation from Taiwan to formalize a purchase agreement for additional corn and soybeans in 2023 and 2024,” IFBF’s Johnson said.

“In the absence of new export opportunities and federally negotiated trade deals, we are excited to explore op­portunities at a state level to meet the growing global demand for Iowa-grown grain.