US-China Agriculture Food Trade Forum was held on Thursday in California, focusing on the promotion of marketing communication and cooperation between the agriculture and food industry of the two countries amid Trump-triggered trade tensions.
The event, jointly hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Representative Office in the US, the China Certification and Inspection Group and CCIC North America Inc, attracted around 200 representatives from both sides
"China's market need for soybean and other US agricultural products is huge and strong, but because of the trade conflict between the two countries, people are now worried about the decline of exports of US agricultural products to China. That's one of the reasons why we have gathered here," said Zhao Zhenge, general representative of CCPIT Representative Office in the US.
"We all agree that the trade war will hurt both of us, not only Chinese companies and consumers but also American farmers, suppliers and consumers," he added.
Founded in 1952, CCPIT is a national foreign trade and investment promotion agency of China.
"This is the kind of interaction our business and our two countries need. This is the positive attitude and energy we are all longing for, especially in the current status of US-China relations," said Liu Haiyan, commercial counselor of China's Consulate General in Los Angeles.
"Agriculture is one of the earliest sectors of China-US economic and trade cooperation. China is now an important market for US agriculture produce," he noted.
According to Chinese customs statistics, China-US agriculture trade in 2017 reached 31.8 billion US dollars, equivalent to 5.4 percent of the total of bilateral trade.
US statistics show that China was the second largest export market of American agricultural products, the largest export destination of American soybean and the second largest export destination of American cotton in 2017. On average, each American farmer exported some 12,000 dollars worth of agricultural products to China.
"Our clients are concerned about the negative impacts of US-China tariffs on them. We hope to help facilitate a resolution as quickly as possible," one of the attendees, Dr. Gleyn Bledsoe, acting director of Center for Advanced Food Technology of School of Food Science, told Xinhua.
Bledsoe, who also works as a consultant in the field of food science into third-party audit in the industry, added that "We have invited Chinese companies to do some of their food processing here in the US."
"It's a difficult moment for China-US agriculture trade nowadays," said Phillips F. Richard, general manager of the Department of Agri-Product and Foods of CCIC North America Inc while calling for quick action to eliminate the tariffs.