Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse leads nearly 40 American businesses on a USDA trade mission to China starting Friday and ending March 28. The mission trip aims to help American businesses strike new deals, strengthen business ties, expand their markets, and support jobs for Americans. U.S. agricultural exports to China have grown more than 80% in the last three years. Joining Scuse on the trip are leaders from six state departments of agriculture, including Iowa, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas and South Dakota. This is the largest USDA trade mission to date.
"China and the United States share a special relationship, and we embrace this opportunity to demonstrate that our U.S. farmers, ranchers, and producers are reliable suppliers of the highest-quality food and agricultural products," Scuse said. "At the same time, USDA and our federal partners will continue to aggressively work to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade."
During stops in Chengdu and Shanghai, participants will meet with dozens of Chinese producers, importers, buyers, distributors and investors. The mission also coincides with the Food Ingredients China trade show where Scuse will cut the ribbon to open the show's USA Pavilion.
Chinese demand for bulk commodities like soybeans and cotton is high, while demand for high-value U.S. products like meat and processed foods continues to grow. Bilateral trade between the United States and China in fiscal year 2011 reached an all-time high of $32.1 billion. U.S. exports to China were $22.8 billion and exports from China to the United States were $9.3 billion. Today, USDA's largest overseas presence is in China. With seven offices in five cities, USDA is well-positioned to support American agriculture and agribusinesses.
Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014. To learn more about the trade mission to China and the companies that are participating, click HERE.