USSEC Participates in U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Seminar in Washington, D.C.
USSEC participated in the third annual U.S. – China agriculture and food seminar, held during the 27th session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). This year’s theme was “Advancing Mutual Goals in Food Safety,” taking place on November 22 in Washington, D.C.
USSEC Chairman Jim Miller and USSEC CEO Jim Sutter represented USSEC, and Mr. Miller provided closing remarks.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Ambassador Darci Vetter, and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang also spoke at the seminar.
Moderated panel sessions addressed key issues identified at the 2015 JCCT, featuring U.S. and Chinese company perspectives and those of the U.S. and Chinese governments. These discussions included strengthening consumer protection and enhancing public confidence in the supply chain; transparency and implementation of food safety regulations; and international best practices on preventing and responding to food safety incidents.
“The growth of food and agriculture trade between our nations is impressive,” said Mr. Froman. “From 2000 to 2015, U.S. agriculture exports to China increased eleven-fold, and China’s agriculture exports to the United States grew seven-fold,” he continued, adding “China has been one of our top export markets for our food and agriculture exports for some time.”
“The United States remains committed to partnering with China to achieve our mutual goals of protecting human health and food safety while facilitating and expanding trade,” stated Secretary Vilsack.
Mr. Miller spoke about the role of the Agriculture – Food Partnership (AFP), which was created in 2014, and what the group is accomplishing within China to address food safety and security.
He discussed AFP’s role as a private-public coordinator in today’s political and business environment, saying that it “provides a unique platform to foster trust and partnership between Chinese and U.S. food and agriculture interests in both the public and private sectors; bring together the widest range of Chinese and U.S. organizations . . .to identify areas of common interest, opportunity, and collaboration in food security and food safety; and facilitate cooperation across the entire value chain of the agriculture and food industry in China.”
Additionally, Mr. Miller talked about AFP’s 2016 initiatives and outcomes and the organization’s future hopes.