WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium will begin in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, Feb. 16. USDA will host China’s Vice President Xi Jinping and Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to discuss trade issues between the two nations.
In 2011, China moved into the top spot as the number one market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports. The value of U.S. farm exports to China supported more than 160,000 American jobs in 2011, on and off the farm across a variety of sectors.
"Thanks to the productivity of American farmers, ranchers and producers, consumers in China recognize the United States as a reliable supplier of high-quality food and agricultural products,” said Vilsack. Strengthening our partnership with China's growing market is integral to the strength of the U.S. economy in the decades ahead."
Chinese officials will also visit Washington, D.C., and California as part of their trip. The symposium will focus on current and future cooperation between the two nations in areas including food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture. The event will take place at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines.
"China and the United States have an opportunity and responsibility to work together to help increase the availability and use of sustainably produced food for a rapidly growing world population," added Vilsack.
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