Last week was a momentous one for U.S.-China agricultural relations. In addition to the productive meetings that took place in Washington and Des Moines, I was honored to witness the signing of an agreement between the U.S. soybean industry and Chinese buyers who agreed to purchase more than 8.6 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans in the coming year. That’s about $4.3 billion worth of soybeans, or 317 million bushels.
The signing of that purchase agreement represents another very important milestone in the U.S.-China trade relationship, a relationship that continues to grow and flourish – in large part thanks to agricultural trade. Last fiscal year, for the first time ever, China was the number one market for U.S. food and agricultural exports. And it was also the top market, by far, for U.S. soybeans. In fact, China purchased nearly 60 percent of the U.S. soybeans sold internationally last year. Read more »
Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, tours the Hom Wet Market in Hanoi, Vietnam with Foreign Agricultural Service Acting Administrator Sue Heinen (center) and USDA’s Agricultural Counselor to Vietnam Jeanne Bailey (right). There, they were able to see some Vietnam’s local produce including rambutan and dragon fruit. This was one of many stops on the first-ever USDA agricultural trade mission to Vietnam, which Scuse led in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Sep. 25-20, 2011 Photo By Le Nguyen-Binh
Under the Obama Administration, USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down barriers to trade, and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world. And by organizing and executing agricultural trade missions, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. businesses reach the 95-percent of consumers who live outside the United States. Read more »
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently hosted two examiners from China who were on hand to learn the U.S. system for examining new plant variety applications.
AMS’s Plant Variety Protection Office and the American Seed Trade Association invited Yang Yang and Lingo Gao from China’s Ministry of Agriculture to work to improve global intellectual property protection. The two countries are working toward harmonizing their respective plant variety protection systems. Read more »
(From left to right) Daisy Hong of Ocean Spray, Chef C.K. Chen of Taipei’s Sherwood Hotel, Valerie Brown of USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Taipei, and Joyce Hong, who hosts the China TV program “King of the Happy Life,” showcase American Thanksgiving favorites on an episode of the popular TV show, which airs in Taiwan this week. Photo by A. Jay, Chun-Li Integrated Marketing and Communications Co., Ltd
Thanks to Foreign Agricultural Service employees serving at USDA’s 98 international posts, American Thanksgiving traditions – and food – are being enjoyed around the world this November. Read more »
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of traveling to Kansas City to address our nation’s farm broadcasters at the 68th Annual National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) meeting to answer questions about key issues affecting our agricultural community. Since I usually only talk to the broadcasters over the phone, I enjoy coming to NAFB each year to meet with them face-to-face. This year was particularly special because I was able to share good news regarding the state of our agricultural economy, farm exports as well as information about recent USDA streamlining initiatives that will allow us better assist our nation’s producers.
I was proud to announce that we set a record of $137.4 billion in agricultural exports this past fiscal year—exceeding past highs by over $22.5 billion—to support more than 115 million American jobs. We were able to set a trade surplus record of $42 billion, which is a testimony to the hard work of our nation’s producers as the backbone of the American economy. Read more »
Next week I will travel to Vietnam and China on behalf of USDA and our nation’s farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses. I want to strengthen trade relationships we have with both nations, support the American brand, and create more opportunities for American producers to sell their goods throughout the Asia Pacific region.
This year, China moved ahead of Mexico and Canada to become our number one export market for U.S. agricultural goods. In the past decade, the Vietnamese market has also become increasingly important for our farmers, ranchers and growers – jumping from the 50th to 15th position as a market for U.S. farm exports. Read more »