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As discussions between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) drag on, I wanted to share my thoughts on the issue and my support for U.S. Sen. Grassley, who has been a tireless advocate for Iowa farmers and families.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sen. Grassley, who assured me of his continued support for NAFTA and for Iowa’s farmers. He understands that Iowa’s economic health depends on the success of our ag industry, and that Iowa’s ag industry depends on the health of NAFTA. Sen. Grassley knows how important our NAFTA partners are to not only Iowa farmers, but to Iowa families in general. I am also really pleased to see the attention the Quad-City Times has given this issue in recent weeks.

In 2016, more than 50 percent of Iowa’s total food and agriculture product exports went to our NAFTA partners. Food and agriculture in Iowa directly and indirectly supports 754,659 jobs in our state. The future of NAFTA and the future of Iowa’s growing economy are closely connected.

Certainly, after this many years, there are important changes that should be made to modernize this agreement. I hope that as the White House continues its negotiations, it keeps the needs of Iowa farmers and families in mind.

Glen Keppy