February 25, 2020 (Des Moines, IA) – Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig participated in a virtual trade mission with Japan yesterday. Coordinated by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), representatives from Iowa continued conversations with Japanese companies following a successful in-person meeting in 2019 to reinforce strong relationships and expand trade and investment opportunities for Iowa.
“Although COVID-19 had different plans for our reunion, I am still so pleased to have connected with the Japanese delegation,” said Governor Reynolds. “It is crucial for Iowa to have a strong presence in the global economy and these trade missions increase the potential to expand Iowa products internationally and to bring new business to our communities. Japan is an important partner for the state, and I appreciate our long-standing relationship.”
In 2020, Iowa exports exceeded $17.6 billion, with products and services reaching over 200 countries and territories around the world. Specific to Japan, Iowa companies exported $1.4 billion. In addition, Japan is Iowa’s leading export market for pork and beef products. Iowa companies exported $634.5 million in meat products to Japan in 2020.
“I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to connect and continue important conversations with our trading partners,” said Secretary Naig. “We value our long-standing trading relationship with Japan. Iowa producers work very hard to consistently provide high-quality beef and pork products for our Japanese customers.”
IEDA collaborated with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to lead the group that included representatives from the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa State University. Leaders of the groups provided agriculture industry insights and Iowa trade information.
“The U.S. Meat Export Federation has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with the State of Iowa in promoting U.S. pork, beef and lamb across the globe,” said USMEF Vice Chair Dean Meyer, a corn, soybean and livestock producer from Rock Rapids, Iowa. “And nowhere is this more evident than Japan, which is consistently the largest value market for U.S. red meat.”
The IEDA’s International Trade Office connects Iowa companies with markets for their products and services, educates Iowa businesses on exporting and assists global companies wishing to establish or expand operations in Iowa. To find out more about these services or other trade missions, please visit iowaeda.com/international-