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Trump’s Pick for Chinese Ambassador to Press Beijing

Terry Branstad to push for U.S. beef imports into China.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Trump is a businessman who knows “the best deal is a win-win situation,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad when asked at USDA’s annual Outlook Forum about possible disruption in farm exports to Mexico.

“I am hopeful at the end of the day the president and his administration will work to improve our bilateral trade agreements and, in fact, enhance our opportunity to export,” says Branstad.

Branstad, Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to China, said he will press Beijing to allow imports of U.S. beef – banned for years in the name of preventing mad cow disease – to remove duties on distillers’ dried grains, a livestock feed, and to speed up its approval of new U.S. strains of GMO corn. “We have a bureaucracy problem in this country. I think they have an even bigger one,” said the governor, who planned to meet the Chinese ambassador in Washington before returning home.

Mexico, one of the two largest markets for U.S. corn, is exploring the idea of buying corn from South America because of strains in the nation’s relations with the U.S. Trump wants Mexico to pay for a wall along the U.S. southern border, and the White House has raised the idea of higher tariffs or a tax on Mexican goods as a way to narrow the trade deficit with Mexico.

When a member of a Chicago brokerage asked about the possible loss of farm exports to Mexico, Branstad responded, “He (Trump) is a businessman.” Branstad said Trump’s desire for improved trade agreements applied to China and Japan as well as Mexico. China, Canada, Mexico, and Japan are the leading customers for U.S. farm exports.

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