U.S., China sign ag pact
by Eric Schroeder
DES MOINES, IOWA — Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and China’s Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu on Feb. 16 signed a “plan of strategic cooperation” that is expected to guide the two countries’ agricultural relationship for the next five years. The plan was signed as part of the U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium held at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. The symposium focused on bilateral cooperation in the areas of food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture, as well as enhanced business relationships between the two countries. “This plan builds on the already strong relationship our nations enjoy around agricultural science, trade, and education,” Mr. Vilsack said. “It looks to deepen our cooperation through technical exchange and to strengthen coordination in priority areas like animal and plant health and disease, food security, sustainable agriculture, genetic resources, agricultural markets and trade, and biotechnology and other emerging technologies.” During fiscal 2011 China became the top market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports.