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Republican Sen. John Hoeven shakes hands with Wen-Deh Chen, chairman of Taiwan Grains and Feeds Development Foundation, on Tuesday in his Washington office.

Hoeven announces $4B in ag purchases by Taiwan

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WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. John Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, met Tuesday with a delegation of Taiwanese agriculture leaders to discuss trade issues and to announce Taiwan's commitment to make a major purchase of U.S. agriculture products.

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Taiwan has signed three letters of intent to purchase 9 million metric tons of U.S. wheat, soybeans and corn at a cost of $4 billion. Principal providers of the wheat will be North Dakota, Montana and Idaho, although North Dakota will also provide corn and soybeans. Other states participating in the agreement are Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan.

"Today's announced purchase is a testament to the quality and productivity of American farmers, in North Dakota and across the nation," Hoeven said in a press release. "Agriculture is a major American industry that has a favorable balance of trade and supports 16 million jobs."

The Senate voted in June to pass its version of the farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013, which saves $24 billion to help reduce the deficit, strengthens crop insurance and continues the sugar program; includes a new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program for farmers; reinstates livestock disaster assistance programs. Hoeven has been named to the Senate-House conference committee tasked with reconciling the versions of the bill passed by the Senate and the House.

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