While many financial experts say the economy is sagging, a state report contains positive news: Iowa exports rose nine-percent last year. The export of manufactured goods and “value-added” food products rose to nearly four-and-a-half billion dollars, up from just over four billion in 1999.Iowa Department of Economic Development director C-J Niles says the top export, machinery, includes everything from agricultural and construction equipment to washing machines. The vehicles category includes tractors, truck bodies and pickup toppers. Niles says the top three trading partners all increased their imports of Iowa goods. Canada is the state’s top trading partner, followed by Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom. Nancy Pedersen, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Economic Development, says Iowa’s “home-grown” products are always in demand overseas.The I-D-E-D report says Iowa ranks 32nd in exports among the 50 states. It finds demand for food-grade Iowa soybeans has risen 20-percent.
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