U.S. Chamber Report Reveals Potential for $28 Billion in Gains in U.S.-China Agricultural Trade

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 10:45am

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a report which reveals that reducing or eliminating relevant tariffs and other behind-the-border barriers between the United States and China could result in $28.1 billion in additional cumulative gains in two-way agricultural sector trade over 2016-2025. The United States would realize gains of $17.6 billion – a nearly 40% increase over baseline projections.

“Agricultural trade has historically been a bright spot in the two-way trade relationship between the U.S. and China, and there remains significant unrealized potential,” said Jeremie Waterman, U.S. Chamber Executive Director for Greater China and Senior Policy Advisor for Asia. “As the world’s two largest economies, efforts by the U.S. and China to reduce agricultural trade barriers would benefit not only our economies, but the rest of the world.”

To realize these gains, the report recommends that China make the following reforms:

  • adhere to timely, predictable, and science-based approaches for approvals of agricultural biotechnology and equitable treatment for foreign animal vaccine products and imports;
  • implement improved animal health management with veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines;
  • increase transparency for existing Tariff Rate Quota allocations for commodities, and ensure they are large enough to be commercially viable; and
  • eliminate subsidies for domestic farm machinery, or make these subsidies available to foreign brands, encouraging the use of the latest equipment and increasing food production through advanced farm mechanization.

The report also highlights that, while the United States has a relatively open market to Chinese agricultural products, imports from China also have significant opportunity for growth.  In order to achieve this growth, the report recommends that the United States maintain its openness, and refrain from implementing unnecessary regulatory burdens, while maintaining product safety.

The report, Cultivating Opportunity: The Benefits of Increased U.S.-China Agricultural Trade, was produced in partnership with Informa Economics. A full copy is available here.

“This study highlights the significant untapped opportunities for both sides in two-way agricultural trade and provides a timely roadmap for policymakers to realize them,” said Waterman.  “Leaders from both countries have an immediate opportunity to achieve concrete progress on this critical agenda when they gather in Washington later this week for the 27th meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).” 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.