USDA Agricultural Trade Mission To China – Details

   The Northeast China U.S. Agribusiness Trade Mission (ATM) led by Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) USDA took place in May.
   The 12-day trip included a delegation consisting of representatives of eight State Departments of Agriculture, 28 U.S. companies and commodity organizations, John LaRose, Publisher of MidAmerica Farmer Grower, a representative of the U.S. agriculture media, and Phil Karsting, Administrator, FAS, USDA Washington D.C. This largest ever ATM delegation to China was joined on the trip by Scott Sindelar, Minister-Counselor for Agriculture Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Beijing, China, and Scott Weinhold, Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Shenyang, China.
   Four years ago US/China trade was just 100 billion dollars, today it’s over half a trillion. The only part, of trade with China that has a plus balance of trade in favor of the United States, is agriculture. Last year, China’s agriculture imports from the United States reached $30 billion, while China’s exports to the United States reached $10 billion. United States agriculture trade into China in the last four years has doubled and could very easily double again in the next four years. Last year soybeans accounted for over $15 billion in sales to China, followed by cotton with over $3.5 billion, corn with $1.6 billion, followed by whole hides and skins with $1.2 billion.
   China has 21 percent of the world population; its expanding middle class offers an enormous market for American agricultural products. China’s urban household per capita expenditures on food in the last 10 years has increased by 100 percent, while its expanding middle class has increased by over 200 percent. All of this combined is creating an enormous environment for the sale of American agricultural products to China.
   While in China, LaRose interviewed several officials in the trade mission delegation on the state of agricultural trade with China. MidAmerica Farmer Grower will publish approximately nine stories on this subject, the first was an interview with the US Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, which appeared in the June 6 edition of the publication. This and future articles can be reviewed on the website: www.mafg.net. ∆
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