Progress in U.S.-China trade talks
Last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reported progress on a number of trade issues with China as a result of the 24th U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which wrapped up Dec. 26 in Beijing.
“My discussions with Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders laid the groundwork for future cooperation related to our shared interests in food security, food safety, and sustainability, as well as the expansion of export opportunities for Ameri can farmers and ranchers,” Vilsack said.
On beef access, the U.S. and China reached consensus to continue dialogue, with the intention to restore market access by the middle of 2014.
On biotechnology, Vilsack conveyed a need to streamline China’s biotech approval process, and gave his commitment to begin implementation of a pilot program on the review of biotechnology products. China also agreed to discuss U.S. concerns regarding China’s requirement for the use of viable seed in applications for biotechnology approvals.
In his separate discussions with Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, the Secretary shared a proposal for a revised Memorandum of Understanding focused on science and technology cooperation in the field of agriculture.
The two countries also committed to hold a second High Level Agricultural Symposium in 2014, with support from the U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Partnership. — WLJ