Michael Scuse, acting under secretary for Farm and Faoreign Ag Services (FAS) is leading nearly 40 American businesses on a USDA trade mission to China today through March 28. This represents the largest USDA trade mission to date.
The Trade mission aims to help American businesses "strike new deals, strengthen business ties, expand their markets, and support jobs for Americans," according to FAS's press release on the event.
Also joining Scuse on the mission are leaders from six state departments of agriculture, including Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese and representatives from North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas and South Dakota. In Shanghai, the delegation will be joined by Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Darci Vetter and Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, who is the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
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 (FIC) trade show where Scuse will cut the ribbon to open the show’s USA Pavilion.
The mission is timely as 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.