US Agricultural Trade Mission to Northeast China
According to statistics gathered by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the United States Department of Agriculture, China accounts for close to twenty percent of all farm exports from the United States, making it the largest international market for US foods and agricultural products. Following China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization in late 2001, exports to the Asian country have experienced tremendous growth, and this is expected to continue into the future. In 2013, agricultural exports to China added up to $26.7 billion, with leading exported products including wheat, soybeans, cotton, corn and forestry products.
Traditionally an agricultural region, there has been little demand for US products in Northeast China. But development and growth in the region has resulted in an increase in imports from the US, and in response to this increased demand the USDA recently undertook a trade mission to China which included representatives from nine US state departments of agriculture, and representatives from 28 US companies to Dalian, Changchun and Shenyang in Northeast China to investigate trade opportunities and make new business contacts. The trade mission was led by Michael Scuse, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
Among the companies represented in the trade mission was the Wisconsin-based Marathon Ginseng International Inc., which reportedly produces and markets cultivated and wild ginseng, some of which is exported to China through third parties. Founder of Marathon Ginseng, Dr Ming Tao Jiang joined the trade mission in order to broaden his knowledge on growing ginseng, as well as to make contacts for direct trade in the product. In an interview Jiang noted that ginseng grown in Wisconsin has unique properties which are valued in China.
Oregon-based Dragonberry Produce is an international distributor of fruit and vegetables grown in the state. President of Dragonberry Produce, Amy Nguyen, noted in an interview that the US has many quality products that the new generation of Chinese consumers will find attractive. Nguyen stated that the company’s goal for the trip is to meet both producers and importers of fresh produce products to establish trade relations, as well as to build on the trade and cultural relationship between China and America.