With the announced Chinese tariffs on U.S. exports, things are looking pretty tough if you're a farmer, and more so if you're a farmer in Iowa. Five of the state's central agriculture products — soybeans, corn, ethanol, beef and pork — would be hit if the tariffs go into effect. And that's a big deal for the Iowa farmers who depend on Chinese markets.
"Very big customer, very important customer," said Mike Naig, the Iowa secretary of agriculture, in an interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. "We need that market, they need our products.... We understand that this is a complex trading relationship, but please don't make Iowa farmers and Iowan small businesses the leverage or bargaining chip here as we try to work through these things."
Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.