Hog farmers are applauding news Governor Vilsack signed a trade deal with Taiwan for that nation to buy an additional 100-million pounds of pork and other meat products from Iowa over the next three years. Sam Kearney president-elect of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says they’ve been pushing to increase exports for years. Kearney says 15 years ago, the U.S. was importing about eight-percent of its pork. Now, we’re exporting about nine-percent which he says is “great news for the state of Iowa.” The deal is said to be worth about 50-million dollars to Iowa and involves the equivalent of six tractor-trailer rigs full of pork and meat products being exported from Iowa every day. Kearney was asked whether Iowa producers can deliver. He says “We’ve been coming off some depressed markets so this oughta’ help…producers. Right now we have an abundance of pork so I don’t think there’s any problem with that.” Kearney farms in the Adair area of Adair County in southwest Iowa. He says the timing could hardly be better, as many Iowa farmers could use a financial boost. Taiwan is currently Iowa’s 13th largest trading partner. Next year, the agreement calls for 18-thousand metric tons of pork to be purchased by Taiwan, doubling the amount of pork and other meat products that nation will have purchased from Iowa producers in 2003. The agreement calls for an incremental increase of pork and other meat products to be exported to Taiwan with about 30-thousand metric tons coming from Iowa in 2006.
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