Fred Gale, Economic Research Service, USDA, explained how the rise of living standards and growth caused China’s demand for meat, eggs and animal feed to increase. In correlation, the country’s imports, food prices and environmental waste have also risen. Although pork is the most common protein, pork production is costly. Beef and lamb are also hindered by cost, as well as lack of grassland.
Rosanne Freese, Senior International Trade Specialist, USDA, explained the current reform of China’s food safety law, the main issue being the lack of cohesion, oversight and standardized regulations between agencies and private sectors. In an effort to address these concerns, China has issued a five year plan for a food safety system.
Similarly, the Canadian Feed Inspection Agency is working on a long-term initiative redesigning its federal food control legislation. Although this requires virtually reframing the scope of CFIA and will take time to complete due in part to gathering significant input from industry to generate ideas about the proposed rules, the final law will be extremely beneficial to Canada, the U.S. and other global trade partners.
The panel on trade agreements featured speakers who detailed U.S. trade agreements. Erin Hubbard, USDA FAS, provided a closer look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Presently, 10 countries are participating in the TPP negotiations in addition to the U.S.: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Of those, the U.S. has preferential agreements with six partner countries. USTR serves as the coordinator for interagency policy development. U.S. agricultural exports to TPP negotiating countries totaled $43.5 billion in 2011 and accounted for 32 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports.
Another trade agreement, the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), is very lucrative for the U.S. According to Tani Lee, USDA FAS, Korea has the 13th largest economy in the world and has a $1.5 trillion economy with 49 million consumers. To meet demand, Korea relies on imports to meet its food and agricultural needs. In 2012, U.S. agricultural exports to Korea totaled $6.2 billion, making Korea the fifth largest market for the U.S., its top supplier for agricultural products.
Colombia also represents a large export market for the U.S., which exported $71 million in animal feed to the country in 2011. Demand is expected to increase with the implementation of the U.S. – Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, according to Dylan Daniels, International Economist, FAS.
The Import/Export Seminar was developed to educate AFIA members about the role of various agencies, constraints and how current efforts can supported in international trade. The next Import/Export Seminar will be held in late 2014.