The mayor of Iowa’s largest city is headed to the world’s largest country. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie leaves this morning, bound for China. “I’m going over with other mayors from around the United States,” Cownie says.

“We’re going to have a small delegation. We’re going to meet with mayors of China and we’re going to talk about…Chinese investment in the United States and U.S. goods into China and how best do we facilitate that.” Just one percent of American businesses currently are in the export business and Cownie says that means it could be an area of real growth for the American economy.

“There’s people around the world that love American products, love American goods, love American commodities,” Cownie says. “…85 percent of the demand in the world is outside of the United States and so we make great products. There’s a great attitude for it and I think that we want to export.”

Cownie met earlier this year in Des Moines with the mayor of Iowa’s sister city in China. Cownie believes the Chinese have a special interest in the financial services companies that are based in Des Moines, but he’s hoping to come up with leads for other companies that do not already have trade ties with China.

“And give them an opportunity to expand their business into an area that maybe they’ve never even considered,” Cownie says. Cownie describes the trip as a “whirlwind” as he’ll have meetings in China on Wednesday and Thursday, then board a plane Friday for the return trip to Iowa.