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Branstad Off For Sixth International Trade Trip

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has jetted off to Japan and India, embarking on his sixth international trade trip since 2011.

In the past three years, Branstad has toured several European countries, gone south to Brazil and Chile and has made three trips to China.

Since 2011, the state has spent less than $10,000 on Branstad's travels, but the Iowa Economic Development Authority's foundation, which takes private contributions, has paid out nearly $114,000. It will spend another $10,000 on the current trip.

Branstad's staff says the trips can yield trade deals or bring businesses to Iowa.

But some note it's hard to know how meaningful these foreign journeys are.

Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill accompanied Branstad to China earlier this year. He says Branstad is establishing valuable relationships for Iowa.