(Washington, DC) Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and small business owners from Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky to discuss the need for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and its importance to small businesses and industries across the country.

Ernst’s comments here can be viewed at the 10 minute mark.

Read her remarks below:

Thanks to the Leader and Senator Warner for being here today. We do know that trade plays an important role in Iowa’s economy, and just as Senator Warner pointed out some of the aspects of business that would be very helped by trade in Virginia, Iowa is very, very different and I would like to share some of the points on why the Trade Promotion Authority would be beneficial to our Iowa economy.

We would stand to directly benefit by opening up the international trade that would really boost our agricultural exports, and provide new market opportunities, reduce those trade barriers and for our manufacturers, create more jobs here in the United States. And just last night, I received a letter from more than 70 of our State of Iowa leaders, both in the private industry and also from our Governor and Lieutenant Governor. So, it was encouraging to have this letter, again signed by over 70 folks from Iowa supporting TPA.

So, what they were stressing again is how international trade is so important to our businesses, our workers, our farmers. And, according to the letter, and again some really interesting statistics:

In 2014, Iowa exported a record-setting $15.1 billion in manufactured goods and value-added agricultural products.

Nearly 83% of these exports came from small or medium-sized businesses.

And Iowa farmers exported over $3.5 billion in soybeans, nearly $2 billion in pork, $1.7 billion in corn and just over $1 billion in feed grain.

And in addition, I want you to consider this too because this is pretty astounding for Iowa, according to the Business Roundtable, over 448,000 Iowa jobs are directly tied to trade. That is nearly one in every five jobs in Iowa directly associated to trade. So we are proud supporters of this TPA. I’ve been encouraged by so many members in Iowa to be supportive of this measure, I am glad to see that we are moving this legislation. We have over 3,300 Iowa-based companies that have exported to nearly 190 countries all around the world.

I appreciate your time today, again I want to thank the Leader, thank Senator Warner for joining us, and to our guests here also, we would love to give them plenty of time to give their stories and answer questions. But again this is very important to Iowa and to many, many other states, so would love to see this move forward hopefully this week, so thank you very much for your time.

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