Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is in Seattle today attending the U.S. China Governors Forum.
“We will be attending a conference with five either governors or party leaders from provinces in China and five American governors. And this will be the third time that we’ve had this meeting with American governors and the provincial governors from China,” Branstad told Radio Iowa.
The governors from California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan are at the forum with Branstad. “We’re going to be talking about renewable energy. Iowa has been a real leader as you know in ethanol, biodiesel and wind energy and we are going to be talking about how the states can cooperate and collaborate with our Chinese counterparts,” according to Branstad.
He says the Dupont company which is building a cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa is also building one in China, as an example of how technology is shared between the countries. “So, there’s a lot of opportunity for additional collaboration, and we are going to also have a large Chinese delegation come into Des Moines on Thursday, ” Branstad says. “And we are very hopeful that we will be able to announce some major purchases of soybeans, and possibly other things as well.”
Branstad says he envisions several opportunities where Iowa can trade its products with China in return for the products the Chinese produce. “Obviously we produce a lot of the food products they need like soybeans and pork and corn and eggs, but there’s also an opportunity for technology,” Branstad says. “Another area of opportunity is in the area of annuities. And Principal Financial Group is working with a partner in China. There’s a great opportunity in financial services in China as well being done in partnership with a Chinese company.”
Branstad plans to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping on the trip. The governor has known Xi for years through a sister state relationship Iowa has with the country.