USSEC Assumes Strong Leadership Role in China through AFP Involvement
- General News
The U.S. and China have a shared, collaborative interest in agriculture that goes back several decades. A broad array of programs, activities and investments link the two countries’ agricultural economies, reaping significant benefits for both nations. The demand for safe, affordable, and sustainably-produced agricultural and food products will only continue to increase as the global population becomes more urban, middle class and expands by two billion in the next thirty-five years, adding new and emerging challenges for both countries. As two of the world’s largest producers, consumers and traders of agricultural and food products, the U.S. and China share an obligation to work together to enhance productivity and facilitate trade to ensure food security; to improve production, processing and marketing practices ensuring food safety; and to introduce environmentally sound technologies and management practices that ensure sustainability. The U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Partnership (AFP) was established to serve as a single point of contact to bring together U.S. and Chinese public and private sector entities on programs and activities that help meet the two countries’ shared objectives. The AFP helps to develop trust and foster positive relationships, brings more attention to the two countries’ bilateral agricultural collaboration, and establishes a platform to better address problems that could potentially impact relationships between the U.S. and China.
USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke co-chairs the AFP together with Lorraine Hawley, Director of International Government Relations at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). On December 17, AFP sponsored a reception, which was attended by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke. At a pre-reception meeting, AFP highlighted to the U.S. government representatives how the U.S. food and agriculture sector is actively organizing itself and working to align with the Chinese food and agriculture sector in order to create a positive environment for trade and policy to move forward. At a post-reception VIP meeting, AFP talked with representatives of Chinese agribusinesses and government officials, and Secretary Vilsack reiterated the support that the U.S. government’s strong support of AFP.
One of USSEC’s goals in China is to present itself as a leader among industries, befitting the largest export to China from the U.S., and according to Mr. Burke, USSEC’s involvement in AFP demonstrates the “positive strides” that are being taken in that direction. USSEC is proud to be a large part of the leadership role which U.S. soy is taking in the import of U.S. agricultural products into China.