Vice President Pence pushes increased beef and pork exports amid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vice President Pence pushes increased beef and pork exports amid soybean tariffs

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

Vice President Mike Pence's visit to eastern Iowa yesterday touted the manufacturing and agricultural sector of the state's economy, saying the Trump administration is working hard to expand the access to American agricultural goods.

However Pence only mentioned beef and pork exports when speaking of increasing foreign exports.

"We've forged new deals to expand American pork exports to Argentina, beef to Brazil and for the first time in 13 years American beef is going to China," Pence said.

The increased export of beef happening amid growing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, days after China imposed a 25 percent tariff on soybean exports.

Jim Fitkin is a fourth generation farmer in Black Hawk County, turning his focus to grain farming. He said the tariffs could drop the price they receive when they take them to market.

"They've always said, it's kind of an old saying, that one out of every four rows goes to China," Fitkin said.

Remembering the farm crisis of the 1980s, he said a lot has come into play in today's farm markets.

"The yield was the only thing that influenced the price I should say. Now we've got foreign markets."

Fitkin said a lot of today's trade wars come down to politics.

"It's kind of a matter of trying to see who's going to blink first, whether Trump blinks first or China blinks first.

Fitkin says he expects the tariff situation to settle fairly quickly and what's happening today is nothing new when it comes to using exports as a way to fight.

Governor Reynolds released a statement following meeting with Pence. She said, in part, that the tariffs will have real consequences as agriculture is the first casualty in a trade war.

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