tv China Ambassador Nominee Willing to Confront China on Human Rights Trade... CSPAN May 5, 2017 10:33pm-12:26am EDT
hemmings family. >> people as property who could be bought and sold and that was a thing that many members of the hemmings family despite whatever privilege sally and her children might have had, they all lived with the specter of the possibility that that could happen because the law construed them as property and jefferson construed them as property. >> for our american history tv schedule go to www.c-span.org. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. iowa governor terry branstad is president trump's nominee to
be ambassador to china. at his confirmation hearing he talked about his relationship with chinese leaders and north korea's role. this is just under two hours. >> foreign relations committee will come to order. we are honored to have so many people here today. i do wonder what's happening back in iowa with the governor, two senators and so many distinguished individuals here and we're glad to have all of you here in support of our nominee. out of deep respect for senator grassley and ernst, the ranking member and i both will defer our opening comments so that you do not have to sit through those. i know that you would like to say wonderful and glowing things about our nominee and we know that you have other business that you need to tend to so what
we'll do is ask you to please go first. we will then begin the business in the normal way and move to testimony by governor branstad. if would you begin the most honorable senator grassley, we'd appreciate if the we thank you for honoring us with your presence here today and we thank you for your service in so many ways. and with that, we'd love to hear your comments. >> thank you, chairman corker. and ranking member cardin, and members of the foreign relations committee. it's a privilege for me to be here to introduce the governor of iowa, the next ambassador to china and i would say that this gentleman has been an ambassador all of his life for iowa and will make a good ambassador to china. he's been an ambassador for iowa within the united states of america as he has told other americans about iowa, a great place to create jobs, a great
place to do business, and he's been an ambassador for iowa around the world many, many times with many, many different countries, but especially with china being an ambassador for iowa's exports. it's an honor to appear here with senator ernst and it's an honor even a greater privilege to introduce a person that i call a good friend way back when. terry branstad. at least to his first years in the iowa legislature, 1973. as many of you know, governor branstad is the longest serving governor in u.s. history. he's a lifelong iowan who's devoted his life to public service and even whaent in public service as president of university, he was still an ambassador for iowa. after more than 22 years as my home state chief executive i'm proud to support governor
branstad's nomination to serve our country as the next u.s. ambassador to china. his nomination should come as no surprise to the people of iowa. we have long known and benefited from the relationship governor branstad has with the people of china. a sister state relationship going way back to 1983 has grown into a successful trade partnership that has benefited iowa farmers and businesses. perhaps most notably, governor branstad enjoys a 30-year friendship with president xi, their first meeting took place in 1985 when xi was then a local provincial official who led an agricultural delegation to iowa. president xi visited iowa again in 2012 when governor branstad was back at the helm for a fifth term as governor of iowa. their relationship reflects a genuine good will and mutual respect.
governor branstad has never stopped working to expand iowa's trade and economic partnerships on the world stage, most importantly, including china. he will bring midwestern humility and level-headed leadership to this very important job representing the people of the united states and the president there in beijing. he is a workhorse who is unafraid to get in the trench to get the job done. if he is confirmed, i'm confident that governor branstad will bring to bear his tireless commitment to solving problems and always move the ball forward. although his heart will always be in iowa and i know he will return to iowa, i know that governor branstad will throw himself into this job as being ambassador wholeheartedly. he is uniquely qualified to help strengthen the trade economic and cultural as well as geopolitical relationships
between our two countries. i'm pleased that he's now been called to serve as the ambassador. i'm very confident that he will represent the united states well and excel just as he had throughout his life-long career of public service as well as his public sector leadership. without reservations, i support this nomination. thank you. >> thank you very much for that and to senator ernst who brought her unique and distinctive background to the senate and certainly made your impact already. we welcome you and look forward to your comments. >> thank you, chairman corker and ranking member cardin and to the members of the committee. it is my privilege to be here today along with our long-time senior senator, senator grassley, to introduce my governor, my friend, and the longest serving governor in u.s. history, terry branstad. a native iowan, served in the iowa legislature from 1983 to
1999 and again from 2011 until what i hope will be his swift confirmation as u.s. ambassador to china. having worked alongside governor for many years, i know he will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness, and dedication in his role as ambassador to china on behalf of the united states as he did for the people of iowa. importantly, governor branstad also knows china and its leaders well. he first met president xi jinping while he was visiting on an agricultural research trip in 1985. they have kept in touch over the years and govern far branstad has since visited china a number of times on behalf of the state of iowa. iowa's extensive trade relationship with china has given governor branstad a front-seat view of the complexities of our country's broader trade and economic relationship with china and will
provide him with the foundation to effectively advocate for u.s. interests. while our bilateral economic relationship with china is certainly important, i don't have to tell you that our list of bilateral issues with china is long and expands beyond trade and investment continue to clued issues like north korea, the south china sea, human rights and more. accordingly, the position of u.s. ambassador to china is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world and i'm confident that president trump has made an excellent choice in nominating iowa governor terry branstad for this role. i look forward to him being confirmed but the senate and bringing the iowa way to beijing. i also want to extend my thanks to the support that has been given to governor branstad by his wonderful family and i know he'll introduce chris and the rest of his family soon. they're truly an asset to iowa, i know they're going to be a
greater asset for the united states of america. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, both. i know our ranking member would love to thank you for your comments. >> governor branstad let me point out that your two senators are very much respected in this institution and having both of them here to speak on your behalf is impressive and we thank both of our colleagues for sharing their comments about you. >> thank you both very much. so we'll return to our opening comments. governor branstad it's a pleasure to welcome you here today as our nominee to be the next ambassador to china. i'm glad to see members of your family here today as well. i wish you all the best as you embark on this exciting new venture. beijing is not des moines, but i know that -- i know that your relationship with president xi spans decades and i'm confident that you fully understand the breadth and depth of the
challenges awaiting you in china. when we met in my office i appreciated your honesty and candor about managing the complexities and relations in china and i look forward to expanding on that conversation today. as i said previously, the u.s./china relationship is one of the most consequential relationships for u.s. national interests. the nature of relations between washington and beijing will have a profound impact on the security, prosperity and stability in the region for coming years. you'll have a unique opportunity to help shape that relationship and move it in a direction that's beneficial for both countries, but it certainly will be a difficult task as u.s. relations with china have been trending in the wrong direction for several years. china's militarization in the south china sea, cybertheft and intellectual property, which, again, i was at a meeting last night on this very topic.
it's just outright theft. outright theft. and it's something that has to end. the discriminatory trade and investment practices in addition are just a few of the areas of rising tension in the relationship between us and -- between the united states and them. we can no longer afford to simply manage our differences with china as beijing continues to challenge u.s. power and disregard international norms. however, we should always seek cooperation in areas where we can work together, including reducing the threat posed by north korea. i also believe that we must have a clear -- must be clear-eyed about china's long-term goals which are not necessarily aligned with u.s. national interests. short-term gains should not come at the expense of long-term u.s. national interests, values, rule of law, international norms, and our alliance commitments which we have many in the region. we must be direct and willing to
use our leverage when china challenges u.s. political, security, and economic interests. governor branstad, i look forward to hearing your vision for relations with china and plans to serve as an effective advocate for u.s. national interests. again, thank you for being here. we appreciate you and your family all being here. >> thank you, mr. chairman and governor branstad, once again, welcome to our committee and thank you very much for your career in public service and your willingness to continue to serve our country in a very important position as ambassador to china. i also want to share thanks to your family because this is a family sacrifice and we appreciate the willingness of your family to allow your service to our country. you have a very distinguished background, very impressive background. a confirmation hearing gives us an opportunity not only to look
at your qualifications but also to view the scope and trajectory of u.s. relationship with the country that you've been nominated to represent, the united states, china. indeed, as we contemplate how to address the situation in north korea, we recognize that china plays a critical role in that regard. so as we look at so many of the circumstances around the world, china comes up in our view. 30 years ago we were debating whether or not china would be a major power. that debate is now settled. but the question of what sort of power china will be remains. will china help to support peace and stability in asia or seek to overturn the regular order? will china become a trade partner committed to the enforcement of international laws or will we continue to see the flouting of international norms as chairman corker has
mentioned? well china open space for its citizens to express their own views and ideas, or will it continue to brutally oppress its own people. these are questions that you will confront if confirmed and while we may not yet know all the answers, i'm concerned by some of what we are seeing. for example, we've seen an increasing provocative china in the maritime domains coercing and intimidating neighbors in the east china sea and south china sea and attempting to use the threat of military force to address territorial and regional disputes. and, as you and i discussed when we sat together recently in my office, i'm deeply concerned by the deter operation of human rights in china and the environment for civil societies and independent voices in that country. when i joined the senate foreign relations subcommittee on east asia, president xi became the president of china. at that time many of us hoped that china was on the verge of a more progressive and reformed era and that along with growing
interaction with the outside world in a significant economic development, human rights would indeed improve. yet, the opposite has proven true. president xi's administration has adopted a slew of laws that violate the most basic human rights of the chinese people and that presents challenges to u.s. interests and values as well. the community of civil activists in china who lived there in the 1990s and 2000s partly as a result of the u. engagement both diplomatically and economically have come under assault as never before. when i joined the subcommittee, it was unthinkable that people in the united states or eu would be detained by chinese authorities inside and outside mainland china, yet that is the current reality. and all the while we still do not know if the dalai lama will be allowed to return to tibet, we do not know the whereabouts
of pen shelama. we don't know if the authorities will release laureate loud in 2020 and we do not know if the people of hong kong will be able to continue to exercise genuine autonomy. but we do know that president xi is set to remain in power for the next five years. so i'm very interested in hearing your thoughts on how, if confirmed, you will stand with civil society and with the chinese people, including when it comes to labor rights where i must say your record as a governor in iowa has raised some concerns, and assure the human rights and universal values are at the heart of u.s. policy with china. i'm also interested in your thoughts as to what we may see by way of cooperation with china on north korea going forward. i understand that what the president has asked of china, but i remain concerned that we've seen this movie before and we really haven't seen any change in china's position as it relates to north korea. many of us are concerned that they'll only go so far, but they're concerned about the
stability of the current regime will revent them from taking the necessary steps that change the equation for north korea. we welcome your thoughts on that matter. so let me lastly mention one additional issue. you will take, if confirmed, the oath of office to project and defend the constitution of the united states. before president trump took the oath of office, many of us urged him to take steps to avoid a constitutional conflict with the emolument clause, and he's the 07b8 president that has not divested or set up blind trusts for his financial institutions. that is not your doing. your doing is to represent our country, if confirmed, in china, and must take steps to make sure that our constitution is not violated. that is, that the trump enterprises are not given favors by the china regime in order --
so we're interesting in how you would defend against that particular challenge. >> i look forward to your thoughts on how you can elevate the current state of play between the united states and china, your thoughts on how to move the situation forward on human rights, and what you hope to achieve if confirmed as our ambassador to the people's republic of china. thank you. >> thank you, senator cardin. with that your entire written testimony without objection will be entered into the record, so don't feel that you have to go through all of it. if you can summarize some comments in about five minutes, that would be great, we welcome you here. we thank you you for your willingness to serve in this capacity and look forward to your comments. >> thank you. i'd like to begin by thanking iowa's two outstanding senators, senator grassley and senator ernst. they are very conscientious,
hardworking and outstanding public service and i'm proud to have them as friends and i appreciate their support. and chairman corker, he ranking member cardin, members of the committee, it is, indeed, an honor to appear before you today as president trump's nominee to be the united states ambassador to the people's republic of china. never in my wildest dreams would i have thought that a farm boy from a small town of leeland iowa would one day have the opportunity to become, with your consent, the ambassador to the world's most -- one of the world's most influential world's most influential countries and one of america's leading trading partners. i'm thankful to president trump for his confident confidence and his trust in me to take this important diplomatic role. i would not be where i am today if it weren't for the people sitting right behind me. my wife of almost 45 years, chris, is my constant support and most understanding person that i know.
thank you, honey. also, i want to introduce my sons, eric and markus who have joined me today. i know that my daughter alison who's a third-grade teacher and my children's spousesed a ann, jerry and nicole and our seven grandchildren are watching from afar. they've already wished me good luck this morning. pursuing this opportunity was a family decision and i'm very thankful for their guidance, encouragement and support, especially over the last several months. if confirmed as ambassador, i will work every day to represent american values to the leadership of china and the chinese people at large. values that include upholding human rights for all and a free and open market, a rules based
order in the ocean surrounding china, and the importance of free press. i look forward to joining the impressive and committed team of public servants and their families from the u.s. state department and many other u.s. agencies at our embassy in beijing and the cons sul lates across china leading this team of dedicated professionals who are working as we speak to promote america's interest in china would be a great honor and responsibility that i would not take lightly. my relationship with the president of china xi jinping goes way back, as you heard, to 1985. as a first-term governor, i had the opportunity to welcome an agriculture delegation from whina, iowa's sister state to the state of iowa. leading that delegation was a young man who's business card read, xi jinping, feed
association of says wang wong. during the trip, we took our new chinese visitors on tours of farms and factories and to receptions dinners. they attend a birthday party, a mississippi river cruise and we showed them true hospitality. i even hosted the delegation in the governor's formal office. a connection was made and a friendship was founded. so this day, president xi still speaks fondly of iowa and the hospitality he enjoyed there so many years ago. if confirmed, i hope to use my unique position as an old friend of president xi and a trusted confident of president trump to positively influence the
u.s./china relationship. as the governor of iowa, i saw firsthand the importance of a positive and healthy trade relationship between our two countries. nearly one out of every two rows of iowa soy beans last year were sent to china as well as a lot of pork in 2016. the importance of trade extends beyond agriculture as well aviation products, manufactured goods, chemicals, electronics and many other tro ducts and services are exported to china daily and help support and sustain the american economy. as ambassador, i will continue to work that i have started as governor to open up the chinese governments to american business of all sorts. this will be good for the american people as it will create more jobs and good for the chinese people as they will have more access to the best made products that the world has to offer.
in keeping with president trump's mission, i am committed to making sure that the trade relationship between the united states and china puts the american worker first. our relationship with china is multifaceted, not solely focused on trade. and i'm aware of the critical national security issues that our two countries must work together on as well. as president trump made clear when he met with president xi at mar-a-lago a few months ago, china could play a critical role until convincing north korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs. a strategic policy that would boost the security of america, china, and the entire world. as governor, i had the opportunity to visit taiwan as well. as ambassador, i will be committed to communicating the united states's continued
support for our 1-china policy expressed in the three joint communications and the taiwan communications act. we remain committed to our goal to see that this cross-straight issue is peacefully resolved in a manner that's acceptable to both sides of the straight. i stay firsthand many of the cybersecurity concerns that the united states has in regard to china during my time as governor. when i received a monthly security briefing, the protection of -- the protection of intellectual property and technology security is of utmost importance to our country. and i will continue to make that clear in frank discussions with the chinese government. on the south china sea, china cannot be allowed to use this
artificial islands to coerce its neighbors or limit freedom of navigation or overflight. the united states will uphold the freedom of navigation and overflight by continuing to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. as governor i had the opportunity to travel to all of iowa's 99 counties every year. a feat that is named for your esteemed colleague as the full grassley. as ambassador, i hope to continue this tradition by visiting every province in china with a country as large and expensive as china, i know that will is much life and activity outside of beijing. >> i look forward to connecting with the chinese people and continuing a vibrant exchange of culture and ideas that we began back in 1983 when i signed the sister-state proclamation with
governor wong. if confirmed, i will work tirelessly to represent america and her citizens to the best of my ability. i will champion american interests in china with as such federal reserve ver and dedication as i've championed iowa's interests in more than 22 years of dedication. mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today. i welcome your comments, questions, and continued dialogue. thank you. >> thank you so much. i'll defer my questions to the ranking member andry serve my time. senator cardin. >> governor, let me compliment you on your opening statement. in the very few minutes have you covered most of the important issues between the u.s./china relation dollars and i must tell you the way that you've express
today i believe compresses what i would have hoped to hear from our ambassador to be to china. and i think you'll find there's strong bipartisan support for the way that you have expressed u.s. interests in these -- in these areas. i particularly appreciate that in the opening part of your statement you mentioned that you would represent american values and that would include upholding human rights for all. you and i have talked about that. i have made it a practice to ask all nominees for ambassadors representing the united states questions related to their commitment to human rights, but for china it's particularly important. we have found that china is moving in the wrong direction and you pointed that out in some of your comments and in our private discussions. how you conduct your affairs,
where you travel, who you allow access to in our embassies, you're reaching out to fgos that have been declared by china to be unwelcomed is a real statement about not only our values but universal values. so you can drill down a little bit more for me how you intend to advance our values on human rights if confirmed as ambassador? >> senator cardin, thank you very much. human rights is very important, it's a bedrock of america's value system. as governor, i have always tried to go not only everywhere in the state of iowa but throughout the world. >> i went to the old soviet union six weeks after chernobyl. i was one of the early governors to go to china and yet i've always tried to recognize my responsibility as an american to
represent our values and to espouse those and it would be my intention as ambassador to bring in and to bring up these difficult issues that the chinese leadership may not particularly want to talk about but are important. and consequently, i -- i'm not afraid to do that. i have done that throughout my career. i recognize as ambassador it's an even bigger responsibility because i'll be representing the whole united states of america and when americans are anyone else in the world is not treated fairly, i think i, as ambassador, need to bring that issue up to the people in power in beijing. >> so you'd be welcoming to our embassy those who may disagree with the policies of china on their human rights? >> yes. . i would not only be willing to welcome people of all
backgrounds to the embassy, but also to travel to other parts of the country to meet with them as well. >> senator -- >> i think it's important -- i learned this as governor and that is you don't want to just be surrounded by your staff, you want to get out and see the real people in your state and in the country. and as ambassador i want to get out and see the people in china, i want to learn from those people that don't feel they're being treated fairly as well. >> senator rubio and i sent a letter to secretary tillerson requesting that he place a high priority on human rights in our bilateral relationship with china mentioning the problems of religious minorities including the people of tibet. would you be willing to take advance from members of congress on individual cases and champion them and work with us as we try
to raise these issues? >> yes, senator. in fact, as i've gone around an met individually with members of the senate foreign relations committee, a number of those have been brought to my attention and it would be my intent to work with all the members of this committee and others in the senate on these issues. i believe that's part of the responsibility of the ambassador is to be there on the ground in china and to be an advocate for our interests. >> and my last request would be that i've asked staff to keep in touch with our embassies, and i appreciate the fact that you mentioned in your opening statement, the professional i am of the people that serve and the mission that are critically important. they take direction from the ambassador. i would ask that you respond to both staffs as to steps being taken to advance the human rights agenda so that we can work together in regards to elevating the importance of that
part of our relationship. >> i certainly intend to do that and i do understand that we have a very dedicated professional staff, both the state department and other agencies, and it's a very large staff that's available at the embassy and the consulates. i intend to work with them, i want to learn from them as much as i can, but i also want to work directly with you and other members of the united states senate and your staff. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator young. >> governor, thanks so much for your willingness to serve. i thank your family for their years of service as well to the state of iowa. we're glad to have someone who has a personal relationship with the president of china who's put themselves forward as well. >> i enjoyed our visit together. one of the things we talked about was north korea and you've also touched on this very important topic in your prepared statement indicating that china
could play a critical role in convincing north korea to dismantle its nuclear missile programs. what more specifically do you think that china could or should do to push north korea to take the necessary steps with respect to its missile and nuclear programs? china, as you know, is a neighbor of north korea. they are major trading partner with north korea. they have recently put some restrictions on importing coal from north korea. i think there's other things they can do diplomatically and economically to send a clear signal that they, as well as the united states and other countries in the world do not tolerate this expansion of nuclear technology and missiles by the north korean leadership. it's a threat towel after humankind and i think it's critically important that we
look at all opportunities to work together. i know that this has been discussed by president trump and president xi. i would want to do all i can to serve as a key go-between as we explore how we can work together with other nations also in asia to address this critical situation. >> so i'm curious whether there air menu of particular economic or diplomatic things question do to heighten the pressure as this pressure continues. and perhaps -- perhaps from a process standpoint you can speak to how you might try and collaborate regionally with -- with the regional bureau there. our secretary of state said publicly within the last couple of days that he doesn't think our state department's doing a
good job connecting its state-level objectives and initiatives to the broader regional concerns. as ambassador to china, could you speak to that as you talk to specifics on north korea, please? >> i think we always need to look at how question do better and improve. and recognizing that the world is facing a very critical threat from north korea at this time. and i want to make sure that we're not leaving any stone unturned in trying to look at all the different avenues that had available. both working with china and working with other nations, especially this that part of the world. >> well, i'll look forward to working with you and do you commit to if you see a lack of coordination you'd be communicating that to the secretary of state.
hopefully you know have you individuals on this committee which would like to work with you to improve that level of coordination. >> i recently met with secretary tillerson. we have a very constructive meeting and i intend to work very closely with him and with the other state department personality of which -- personnel of which there are some very experienced and capable people at the embassy in beijing right now. >> i'll pivot very quickly to the protection of intellectual property. in your prepared statement you indicated it's uh the utmost importance to our country. i think all of us here agree with that. u.s. leads the world in biomedical research and discovery, however, weak ip protection dollars and a growing array of localizations abroad are threatening innovative medical exports in the many jobs
they support here in home. china in particular is a serious offender, beijing has not lived up to the intellectual property commitments it made to the u.s. and others through the world trade organization. if confirmed in order to protect america's innovation and jobs, what will you do to push the chinese to respect ip connections including in the area of ip research? >> the point you raise is very critical and we've had some experience with that with regard to plant breeding and we actually even had chinese that were stealing knowledge from american companies and i think a few years ago we saw criminal prosecution of that, and it occurred in my state.
what i recognize, especially because of our world leadership in medical technology, that say critical area. but i've heard from many other manufacturers and other businesses about the stealing of intellectual property. and this is something that, you know, that's why we have patents and that's why we go so far to protect intellectual property rights. and in the meetings i've had with business people, not only in my state but as we've done strayed missions, this is a critical issue of that. and i think as the chinese have advanced, hopefully they're going to see that there's a danger to them as well in having their intellectual property stolen by other countries. so i think it's critically important that they abide by and support intellectual property rights and that it is not only right for america and protecting our business, but it's right for them as well.
and i hope that i can convince them that they need to change their policies and they need to be more vigilant and serious about protecting intellectual property rights. >> senator coons. >> thank you, chairman corker i'll simply follow up on what they said previously. when we had a chance to meet in my office i was clear with you that intellectual property is also a significant concern of mine. i'm have a state that has a long and proud history of invention and innovation. >> i was just at the hagly museum yesterday which has the records of the dew dupont company and all of its early inventions. they have patent models which they're exploring sharing with a dozen people in china. i would like to hear how would you use your important long and trusting friendship with president xi and what i expect will be your growing knowledge of china as you visit every
province to really make intellectual property and stopping the theft of me,'s inventions a key priority in your role as governor if confirmed. >> well, senator coons, the incident that i was mentioning a few minutes ago actually involved dupont pioneer. as you know, we share dupont pioneer. they've been a wonderful american company and we think it's critically important that the rights and i'm aware of the fact that they're doing some important business in china. we also have the world food prize in iowa, and one of the recipients of the world food prize is the chinese gentleman that was involved in rice. and there's opportunity for dupont pioneer and they're also going through a potential merger right now, there's opportunities
for them to work together for the benefit of not only these great american companies, but also chinese business as well. and i want to do what i can from the background and experience i've had working especially in the agricultural area and, as you've heard, xi jinping's first visit to america was an ag delegation and they were there during spring planting time. they visited the farm of the president of the iowa corn growers and they visited a turkey farm and they visited others, and manufacturing company that makes bins, grain bins. but i hope to be able to because of that background and experience and because of the very good way that we treated xi jinping and his delegation hopefully to convince him to we need his collaboration and
cooperation in dealing with some of these critical issues where china has not adequately address the protection of these intellectual property rights. >> thank you, governor had the i have two other quick questions four if i might. and let me offer that i look order in to working with you and with the senators from iowa as well as my senior senator from delaware to strengthen some of these ties between china and at united states. with the goal of relentlessly pressing the importance of the commitment to pass trade patents. you grow a great deal of grain and corn and we do too. >> thank you. and sonny perdue told me he may be from georgia but he also raises corn and soy beans so i was encouraged to hear that are as well. >> as long as all that goes to chickens and chickens go to china we're all going to be happy.
we asserted that china is unfairly restricting u.s. chicken imports, more than 10% of all chicken grown in the united states is exported. we have not been able to access the one of the most promising markets in the world which is china. if they're going to join the world community like wto they need to play by the rules and i hope you will prioritize opening the chinese market for poultry whether it's from georgia, iowa, or delaware. >> well, i agree with you wholeheartedly that we need to have a fair and open market for these products just as they have an opportunity to market a lot of products in our country. poultry is really important. we do sell them a lot of pork, but beef is presently restricted as well. i've also visited with tom villesack who has gone from secretary agriculture former governor of iowa to working with
the dairy export council, and i think there's opportunity to get more opportunity for dairy there as well. this is an area of especially when it comes to agriculture products that i've had a lot of experience in and i hope that because xi jinping has some experience in that background too that it's an area maybe we can make some connection. i've also had some very frank discussions with minister hon who's their ag minister on these. >> i'll just reference the last thing we discussed. china has become a dominate player in africa, and i urge you to compliment them on their significant leadership in pledging to shut down their illegal ivory markets, but also to find ways that we can explore cooperation on the continent of africa before we completely lose our foothold as a main player and that you will continue to advocate for our values in china
and in how we both engage in africa. >> i appreciate your bringing that issue up, and i think they have made a commitment now to stop this illegal trade in ivory. and i think that is crit important. before i came back as born i was president of a medical school and i went to africa and we have a number of doctors and medical people that volunteer and even our medical students from des moines university provide healthcare in africa. i think it's critically important that we work together. i will be glad to compliment them on what they're doing in africa. i think we need to look at opportunities to collaborate wherever we can. i'm appreciative of the americans that are donate their services and time to help improve drinking water and to help improve conditions for people in africa. >> thank you very much for your testimony, governor. i look forward to supporting your nomination.
>> thank you. >> governor, i'd expect to you be able to talk fluently about pork and chicken and soy beans, i didn't know our city fell letter from delaware could do that so i've learned a lot today. senator gardner. >> thank you mr. chairman and governor for your time today. and while chris counts his chickens i'd like to end china's beef on u.s. beef. so thank you. >> i'm with. >> you thank you for that. i think we're close but we obviously need a little bit more help to make sure that this market is open freely and fairly to u.s. agriculture particularly beef producers. you and i had great conversations with north korea. i know you've talked about north korea and the role that china plays. the particularly important role that china plays as it relates to north korea's nuclear behavior. this congress will work to change the doctrine of strategic patience which had allowed the north korean regime to proliver rate and launch a number of missiles, to test a number of
nuclear weapons and i think it's important that we look at the north korean sanctions act that this congress passed unanimously as a way order in to make sure that we're deterring aggression and indeed reducing behavior with north korea and others around the world to put more pressure on the kim jong-un regime to demill ta rise peacefully the north korean government and regime. i think we have to consider whether or not china is going to in full faith carry out its commitment under united nations resolutions 2270 and 2321. while right now we see them taking actions that they haven't take nin recent years, will that continue or will they slip back into what china does and that's a policy of its own doctrine of patience as it relates to north korea. what do you plan do if china fails to uphold either the united nations resolutions or indeed fails to use its influence over north korea's regime?
>> well, as you've pointed out, they have not abided by these united nations resolutions and i think what's happening right now with north korea is an example of why that needs to change. this is a very serious situation and i don't think china wants to have a flood of refugees from north korea going into their country. i also think that they recognize as other nations in asia recognize this -- a nuclear obsession that the leadership of north korea has and with guided missiles and everything is a very serious threat to humankind and that we need to all look at ways we can work together. i hope that my long-time relationship with the leader of
china and i can convey to him that we sincerely want to work with them and we want to work with other nations as well because this is one of the most important and serious threats facing us all at this time. >> do you believe there's a role for u.s. secondary safrmgszs or chinese entities should china fail to live up to its commitments? >> i think there may well be. obviously that decision will be made by the administration and by the leadership here in washington, d.c. but i think just as recently i think the secretary of commerce, they -- they recently levied a big fine on some chinese entities that illegally provided
security information to rogue nations. and that was i think the largest penalty of that sort that's happened to date. so i'm hopeful that's an indication that we're taking these threats real seriously and that we intend to hold companies, whether they're government-owned or controlled entities or otherwise accountable. >> thank you. i think even when it comes to cybersecurity issues and sieber attacks against the united states, most north korean efforts against u.s.-based companies have gone through china or traveled through china and so we have a number of cyber sanctions at our disposal as well and i was encouraged with the use of those sanctions as necessary. when 2 comes to cybersecurity i appreciate your statement. there's a company in colorado who did business with china, sold a particular type of pump
to a company in china. months later the company from china wrote back to this company in colorado with an e-mail asking some questions about the engineering schematics of the pump, but the new name of the company in china was exactly the same name as the company in colorado. so, in those conversations you're having with the chinese government, some experts believe that over 10% of china's gdp can be contributed to the theft of intellectual property, how will you assert both cybersecurity issues as well as intellectual property rights and make sure that they're living up to their obligations? >> the example you site of the colorado company, i've heard that from iowa companies as well of where they have worked in cooperation with the chinese company and then they see their product being exactly copied and this is a clear violation of the
intellectual property rights and this is the kind of thing that i think we have to very vigorously object to and do everything we can to stop. and we also need to convince the chinese that with their economy, frankly this theft of property will also come back to bite them as well. and that the sooner that they get serious about this, the better it's going to be not just for improving relationship with united states and other countries, but also for them in protecting their own intellectual property rights in the future. >> i know my time has expired but we'll continue or conversations on important issues like will south china sea and taiwan and the important relationship with our ally taiwan, but 2019 end with this. i hope that this position upon
your confirmation you will use it to really work with congress in a way that i think has been neglected over the past several years, that you will have a relationship with members of this committee and the congress in a way that really builds upon this critically important relationship with china and the united states. and i think there's an opportunity here do things as ambassador that truly do need to be done between one of the most consequential relationships that the world has to offer. thank you. >> well, thank you. i intend do that. when i was -- as governor i've beenco chair. >> that's it. we know you're going to work with us. >> okaying. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome governor. you and i had a good conversation about fentanyl in my office. >> yes. >> if people were dying from fentanyl across the country at the same rate that they are in the united states, in the state of massachusetts, 75,000 people
would have died from a fentanyl overdose in 2016, 75,000 people. the precursor chemicals from fentanyl come from china and they come from china into mexico, for the most part, and then they're transported up into the united states. so this is still relatively early in this epidemic because people are dying as a very small fraction right now in the country as they are in massachusetts and new hampshire and other states. so you could you talk a little bit about your commitment to raise the profile of this issue at the very highest level to make sure that the chinese government understands that we expect them to crack down hard on these fentanyl exporters? >> well, senator markey, for the last fwo years the national
governor's association has been actively discussing these issues. and i agree with you this is a dangerous poison, basically it's a less costly narcotic than heroin and it's becoming a huge problem in many states, not just in your state but i think in ohio as well as in other states in new england. it's going our direction as well, so we're concerned about it. if we can stop it at its source in china, we need to do that. and that's an issue that i intend to pursue very aggressively because it's human lives that are being lost needlessly and this is a poison that is -- needs to be prevented from going on to the world marketplace. >> thank you. and, again, this has to be el eight vated to the same level as nuclear nonhe proliferation,
copyright trade. it has to be the same exact level because the people are dying at the same level. >> right. there hasn't been enough public attention about this yet. >> honestly, this is just absolutely a crisis, you know, in our country. we would be losing two korean war levels of americans every single year to fentanyl, two korean war levels. so we can't allow that to happen. we have to put the protections in place. and the chinese can be key. in the same way that the chinese are the key in any negotiations with north korea. the president says if china is not going to solve north korea, we will. well, we have very few options beyond preemptive military strikes without china. and so it is going to, i china to play a big role.
but over the last year from first quarter of 2016 to first quarter of 2017, there has been a 37% increase in trade between north korea and china. notwithstanding u.n. resolutions and their commitments to have tougher sanctions. so can you talk about what you believe has to be the conversation that goes on between the united states and china for them to drastically increase the implementations of the enforcement of the sanctions which would bring the koreans -- the north koreans to the table, the chinese have wanted us to have direct talks with the north koreans for years. i agree with that. but it has to be partnered with crippling economic sanctions by china on the north koreans reasoneda that is not happening. so you can talk about your view of that? >> i would hope that recent
events has convinced china they need to take this much more seriously. it happens to be that the leader of north korea's half broernl was living in china when he was brutally murdered at the -- at the airport in kuala lumpur, malaysia. so if nothing else is a signal, that sure ought to be. the other thing is obviously the threatening actions, and i think recently the china daily kind of sent a message to the north koreans that this nuclear mission and missiles that they're shooting off is counterproductive and i hope that they will use that as a reason to tighten down on sanctions and get serious about working with us and other countries in dealing with this. this is a very important and
critical time to deal with that in light of the actions of just the last few months. >> yeah. because the other -- we don't need a second korean war, that's for sure. >> we don't. we need. >> without the chinese -- >> we need their help and i don't think they want a war over this either. they don't want a bunch of refugees from north korea pouring into china. i've been to har bin, which is north of north korea, it's an agricultural region of china. and we need their cooperation, we need their assistance in peacefully dealing with this and changing this dangerous direction of north korea at this time. >> thank you, governor. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and governor good to see you thanks for coming by to visit. >> thank you. >> and 24 years as governor. >> well, probably won't serve out the full 24 years if you
confirm me, but. >> only 23.5. >> i'm in my 23, 23 sessions. >> you've done a great job and you've shown today that you've got a grasp of what's going on over in china. i appreciate that. it's a tough job. i knew sandy and was over there with him a couple of times and he was kind of a china expert. i know you go into this with your eyes wide open, but despite your relationship with president xi going back to his days as, you know, head of a livestock association, they're tough negotiators. when i was u.s. trade secretary i had the opportunity to negotiate with them quite a bit and we do have a better relationship now at the presidential level than we've had in a long time. but we've got so many issues. i was overthere on a congressional delegation a couple weeks ago and had the opportunity to meet with lee as well as chairman of the people's
congress jong and talked about the issues that have been raised to including north korea, the south china sea, level playing field on trade, ip, intellect cal property issues, as well as their over capacity and their dumping in the united states. we also talked about the issue that my colleague from massachusetts, markey, ed markey just raised which is fentanyl. and one point i made to them was there is information that fentanyl is also leak being into their society, it's not just a question of stopping the laboratories in china where some evil science stift creating poison that's coming into our communities. by the way, the new push is directly fentanyl, 90% pure being mailed to america. you know, to des moines, and cincinnati, and columbus and it comes by the mail and people are ordering it over the web. it is killing more people this year by far than it killed last year. so this is getting worse, not
better. and massachusetts has been hit hard, so has ohio, but i really believe from talking to experts around the country, this is the new wave. it's a synthetic form of heroin, as you know, but it is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroine. and not other there more oefr doses but the percentage of deaths because it's so deadly. had he have a responsibility towork wugs here. we need to do more on this on the demand side and stopping it through the mail. which we have the stop act. but i would like today to hear from you on this just to assure us that you're going to press on this issue. they have 170,000 chemical plants in china and these are legitimate plants, i understand that. >> yeah. >> but they've got a lot of pharmaceutical plants that are illegitimate and with their control over their economy, i believe they can do much more to be able to stop this poison from coming into our country. and, again, as you said with regard to intellectual property and so many other issues they
should have an interest in this. so could you just contirm to us today that you will press on this issue and specifically talk to them about not just shutting down some of these plants which they have to do, but actually being sure they schedule more of these precurse sores so that they become illegal and they do more to shut down the fentanyl production in china? >> senator, i want to do everything i can to work with you and senator markey and others that are very concerned about this issue. i think it's really a life and death issue. i also think in addition to shugt down the plants they need to punish the people that are doing this and i want to press that because it is such an important thing to saving human lives and preventing this poison from -- and, as you say, it's a danger in their country as well. we know it's a very severe growing danger here, but it's something that has no place and
i want to do everything i can. i'll be looking for advice and counsel on what can be the most effective way, but i'm not bashful about bringing up tough issues in negotiations. you have had great experience in negotiating trade deals and, you know, i at a much lower level have worked on that for decades. but this is an issue that really comes to protecting human life. >> absolutely. >> and it's something that we've got to take very seriously and i intend to raise this as a top issue along with the ojers that we've talked about here today. >> well thanks for that are commitment. by the way, most of it's coming from china kaye cord together experts so this is something obviously that they can be much more responsible about. with regard to trade, there's so many issues and let me just touch on one quickly. back in 2000, chinese production of steel was the same as the united states and that is 100
million tons a year. since 2000 they have gone to 1.2 billion tons per year steel production. so a net importer of steel became the biggest exporter of steel in the world. and in that process through in overcapacity that they've developed they've been selling steel below its cost in the united states of america. it's one of the reasons we have lost over 12,000 steel jobs in this country during that time period, 12,000. i raise today with them when i was over there, more importantly i think we need to have an ambassador who understands this issue and will be sure that with regard to their dumping or their subsa die zation which is also going on, that they understand that we're not going to put up with it anymore, there's an absolute necessity to have trade that is level. and, as you said i have negotiated with them in the past on trade. this is one of their responsibilities as a member of the wto and responsible mature trading partner now obviously.
so any thoughts quickly on steel and the dumping of steel and your commitment to press on that issue? >> back in 1993, i helped to track a steel company to iowa called ipsco steel from canada and they've been sold to ssab. and i've been working with ssab, i've been active among the governors on pressing for action on dealing with the dumping issue and the unfair competition in steel. so this is a critical issue, one that i'm familiar with because we've got a company ssab in iowa between davenport and muss ka teen that has been negative affected by this. so i want to do everything i can to make sure that we stop the
unfair and illegal activities that we've seen from china in the steel industry. >> thank you, governor. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. i do want to highlight, i doubt there's no country in the world that we have so many issues with and most important relationship for us, our two countries to manage properly. but i'm uplisted by the fact that you've had so many personal experiences with many of these issues as a governor and you know how important they are to real people. all of us have had family friends who've died, i'm sure, from fentanyl, we know of the job losses that have taken place, we know of the outright theft and i mean it's jupt u ju -- just like going and rob a bank what they do with intellectual property. and i do hope with the relationship you have you'll be a constant force for dealing with the multiple violations of
international norms that take place with china. >> well, senator, i appreciate your counsel on this important issue. and, you know, this is one thing about being the chief executive, being the governor, the buck stops with you. and whatever happens, and i was governor during the farm crisis of the '80s, i've gone on trade missions all over the world, i've dealt with a lot of issues. and i think that he background and experience is going to be helpful to me in this role. i know i have a lot to learn about foreign policy and a lot of these issues and i've been trying to get up to speed as best i can, but i'm not bashful about bringing these issues up and this, the fact that the leader of china calls us an old friend doesn't mean that i'm going to be at all reluctant or bashful about bringing up issues where we think they have not been fair and where americans or
anybody has been treated unfairly be it human rights or intellectual property rights. >> senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. governor, thank you for your service and congratulations on your nomination. >> thank you. >> china's probably one of the most complex posts that anybody could ever be offered. so i am still in the process of trying to understand the president's world view and understand how he determines alliances and partnerships. so since obviously you've had some discussion with him about this role, do you believe china is an adversary or an ally of the united states? >> that's a tough question. i think both are potential, but i think we need to do everything we can to try to make them an ally and we need to look at ways that we can work together.
i know from the food perspective the chinese are very concerned about food security and they've had some real issues on food security. and i've been in china and talked to them about how we -- and we are a country that are blessed with safe, secure, food supply and it's not only great quality but it's among the cheapest in the world. i'm hopeful that we can use -- >> so our aspiration is for them to be an ally but if you were to describe our relationship with them now, what would you say that is? >> it's mixed. i think that there's a lot of areas of -- but i think we've got to always strive to try to break the barriers and, you know, i was one of the first governors to go there, you know, after they began to open up and move to a more market-driven economy.
and i think that, you know, what i want to do is try to stress on them because of the change that's taken place over the last 30 some years, they've benefited greatly. but they also have an obligation as an growing power now to also play by the rules. >> i appreciate that. >> and do the things that are expected of countries that are world leaders. >> i appreciate that. now, for months before taking office the president excoriated china for manipulating its currency to the detriment of american workers insisting that he would put american workers and labor force first. so can -- but things seemed to have changed. you can clarify for me, do you believe that china manipulate the its currency in the past? >> i think they have. i think that has changed somewhat in recent months or in the last year or so. but i think that's an obviously
great concern because if they are able to manipulate their currency and make their goods cheaper to export and ours more expensive to import, that is one of the challenges that we're facing. so, yes, that's an issue that we need to continue to monitor and that is one of many things that i think we need to continue to be vigilant on -- on -- in terms of reviewing the situation and seeing if, in deed, that has changed or not. >> well, i appreciate your directness or that because i, too, believe they have been a currency manipulator. they're not right now and the question is how do we avoid them, get them to understand that that is not a good proposition for china or certainly for the united states and workers. so i hope that you'll spend some time and attention to that as you unfold your issues there.
i am concerned, as is the president, about north korea and some of my colleagues have talked about that. but despite some strong rhetoric from china because of its deep economic ties and its border, china, from my perspective, continues to enable north korea's leaders to pursue destabilizing nuclear weapons. so the question is, we seem to have a lot of hope in president xi as it relates to helping us with north korea, and i do hope that that unfolds. but the question is, if it doesn't, should we not consider giving china greater consequences so that they understand their calculus is wrong? for example, the sanctions that senator gardner and i authored would permit sanctions against chinese banks for which north korea operates a great deal. should we not consider that as a possibility if we cannot get china to do diplomatically what
we hope for them do, to change their calculus? >> i think we should keep all these options open. obviously as ambassador i won't be the decision maker on them, but if we -- >> you'll be an adviser. >> that's right. and i won't hesitate to give my advice and what i'm able to learn on the -- on the ground over there. and i do think all options should be open and that we ought do everything we can to convince them to be much more aggressive in dealing with the threats from north korea. and if that doesn't happen, then i think we need to look at what can we do to try to apply more pressure to convince them that it's in their interests, and there will be consequences if they don't. >> i appreciate that. finally, as the cochair of the taiwan caucus with senator inhov, i do hope that we will continue to promote the taiwan relations act as the law of the
land, as the essence of our relationship with taiwan. i understand the one-china policy, but taiwan is also very important to us and i hope that you will keep the perspective of the taiwan relations act as a focus in your engagement with china as it relates to taiwan. >> senator menendez, i want to assure you i will. i also have been to taiwan, the state of iowa does have a sister state with taiwan, and i recognize the importance of both the one-china policy but of also supporting and enforcing the taiwan relations act. >> thank you. i appreciate your directness. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator brass so he. >> thank you very much 'thanks for come willing to visit with me in my office and then i saw you right before the break and i was heading to china and wanted to just tell you that people are looking order in to you as our ambassador. so thank you. >> well, the chinese people have been very nice to me and i've
taken a lot of pictures of me, for what that's worth. but i would be interested in finding out how your trip went. i think you were intending to go to tibet as well. >> yes. but very productive, very fruitful, talked about some of the issues that have just been raised but also issues of trade and senator portman is our former u.s. trade rep, brought up a number of issues, one was on soda ash, many u.s. industries experience a wide variety of concerns that they're surrounding china's trade policies and practices. as we've discussed in this committee, soda cash continues to face unfair trade practices from china, from other countries, the united states is the most competitive supplier of soda ash in the world due to the abundance of a raw material called troena in the united states and wyoming is the world's largest naturally
occurring troena. soda cash is a key manufacturing comb ponment of glass, detergents, soaps, chemicals. china is seeking to capture the global market share from the united states soda ash producers and they do it through unfair trade practices. they've given its own synthetic soda ash producers a significant rebate on the china's value added tax. if confirmed, will you continue to work to highlight and eliminate market distorting subsidies like the value-added tax rebate on soda ash that harm u.s. workers proond deucers? >> the answer is, yes. i look at this very much like the steel issue where they're being unfair and where they're doing -- providing unfair subsidies. had is the kind of thing that we tro strenuously object to and do everything we can to try to correct. >> i appreciate it because -- and we did raise it with the premier when we were there in beijing. and then with regard to beef and i know senator gardner.
>> yeah. >> asked a bit about that. united states produces the highest quality beef in the world. while china lifted its ban on u.s. beef last september, which technical barriers have presented the u.s. beef from gaining access to the chinese market. in april i signed a letter on this critical issue to president trump along with 38 other senators. >> right. >> including members of this committee, bipartisan members of this committee, senator kane had signed it as well as senator rish and gardner and young and paul and portman. the letter urged the administration to discuss opening the chinese market to u.s. beef with the president of china during his visit to the united states. and it's vital that we work to ensure that u.s. beef is traded fairly and trade barriers are eliminated there as well. >> i agree wholeheartedly. i want to be able to serve beef, american beef specifically iowa
premium beef at the embassy and at the ambassador's residence. i don't think it's fair that right now we have to serve australian beef or argentinian beef. and this issue goes back to mad cow disease. 13 years ago, as you've said, they've announced they're going to do it but it's still not been done and that's one of the areas that i feel very strongly about. in fact, the trade mission i went on in november to both china and japan we did have a great press conference and beef tasting in tokyo. and our beef sales, i was on the early stages of opening that japanese market many years ago to american beef. and that now is really flourishing and we need the same access in china, mad cow disease has not been in this country for i think 13 years and besides
that, the mad cow came from canada. >> one final question, and it has do with human rights and economic issues, governor. china is the united states largest trading partner in terms of great potential economic opportunities for businesses in the united states, but china continues to engage in what i believe are serious human rights abuses, including political and religious repression. so as ambassador to china, can you spend a little bit of time discussing how you're going to balance engaging china on the economic front while also demonstrating our nation's concerns about china's human rights violations? >> we're a nation that's always stood for human rights for all people in the world, and i think it's critically important the ambassador for the united states of america make that point and make that along with the other issues that we deal with in china. i'm catholic, i want go to a catholic church in china.
i respect other people's religions as well, and i don't think religious people should be persecuted. and so i think it's very important that we protect all human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion. >> thank you very much, governor. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. i'll reserve some time on the front front end i didn't ask any questions. just thinking about all the myriad of questions you've been asked about china that all of us live on a daily basis. but between human rights violations, nonfreedom of press, what they do with u.s. journalists and others, the monopoly laws they have there which are intended to hurt u.s. companies, and they do, the national security laws that do the same, the cyber theft that we've hit on several times, violation of international norms in the south china seas, redrawing thousands of years of
history there, their non -- nonbeing in compliance with the u.n. security council resolutions on north korea, knowingly allowing companies to violate that and doing so themselves, the dumping that takes place with china manufactured goods, the subsidizing that takes place if that's not occurring, and just what we've talked about with fentanyl and other kinds of things, can you share with us some things that give us hope about the premier's realness, if you will, and really wanting to reform the country so that it comes into more universal and international norms? i mean, what are the things that give you hope of their willingness to actually do so instead -- and by the way what they do in africa and other places where they basically cause countries there to be debt laden, doing things with all
chinese workers that solely benefit china. i mean, give me some -- give me some optimism based 0 -- on your relationship. >> well my relationship goes way back to 1983. >> today. >> here's the thing, china, as you know, is a very closed communist system. it started when henry kissinger and then president nixon went there and it began to open up and we were -- my predecessor robert wray went to china, laid the groundwork, i went to the sister state, i seen big change. and we w hopeful that when they adopted these economic reforms it would lead to more political reforms. i think our disappointment in recent years is, and i frankly my disappointment since president xi became the leader of china, he's done some things
to crack down on corruption and try to clean up some of the bad practices of some of the members of his party. but he has not done what i'd hoped would happen, and that is become more open and more willing to accept freedom of press and stop the repression of minorities. and those are the kind of issues that i hope to bring up with him and, you know, both -- we go back a long ways, we're considered old friends. but i think, you know,ese he's got to recognize that some of the things that are being done in china today are very much against what -- what i think is the right policies for a world leader. and i think he aspires to be a great leader for his country, but i want to, as an old friend, i tell him where i think they're
falling short and the kind of things that need to be addressed, including these human rights intellectual property rights and other things. so i hope that i can be an effective spokesman for america and for challenging some of the policies that we think are really going in the wrong direction. >> thank you. senator kane. >> thank you, mr. chair. that was a good question. i've been wondering the same thing and i appreciate governor branstad your service and i'm very happy to support you in this position. as we've described i've got good democrat friends in iowa who give high remarks as least as high as somebody on the other side. >> well they keep reelecting me so they must have been. >> i'm struck by that too i come from the only state where they just give you one term. i'm the only state where they call governor your excellencesy.
so 20 dwoe years is remarkable and you've had a pretty amazing track record. i mean, as i think about iowa from having visited my friends, there's many things i think about, but the thing i think about the most, ag and forestry is part of the economy and you guys lead with that. what you have done in your years over the tenure with others to improve the lot of family farms through the creation of alternative energy options for farmers to that together with farming for food they could grow corn and use to to produce edgea nal or have a wind tower that they could use to supplement income.