(Posted Fri. Feb 17th, 2012)
Feb. 17: At the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, an NCGA representative this week attended a U.S.-China Trade Symposium in Iowa that focused on sustainable agriculture, food safety and food security. The symposium was part of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s week-long trip to the United States; also at the meeting were U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and China Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu.
“Secretary Vilsack pointed out during his remarks that the United States and China are the world’s two largest agriculture producing countries,” said Chad Blindauer, chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action and a corn farmer from Mitchell, S.D., who represented NCGA at the trade conference. “We believe in the importance of strengthening trade relationships. We hope to see our countries will continue to build on our agricultural partnership.”
During the symposium, Vilsack and Han signed a Plan of Strategic Cooperation that will guide the two countries’ agricultural relationship for the next five years.
According to the USDA, in fiscal year 2011 China became the top market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing $20 billion in agricultural exports. The value of these exports supported more than 160,000 American jobs both on and off the farm.