(CIIE) Interview: China-U.S. agricultural cooperation strong, long-term, says CEO of U.S. Soybean Export Council

Updated: November 7, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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People walk past an electronic poster of the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

China is "consistently a big buyer" of U.S. agricultural products, and "that's something that continues to happen," said Jim Sutter, CEO of U.S. Soybean Export Council.

by Xinhua writer Ma Qian

SHANGHAI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States enjoy strong agricultural cooperation and the China International Import Expo (CIIE) is one of the ways to build this long-term relationship, Jim Sutter, CEO of U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), has said.

The CIIE is "a great opportunity for us to come and showcase U.S. soy, the work that our farmers do, (and) the work that our exporters do, and interact with so many companies in China that are buyers of U.S. soy," Sutter told Xinhua, adding his organization has been working with China since 1982.

"There's a very strong relationship, especially in agriculture between China and the United States," he noted. "We came to show our support for the Chinese customers of U.S. agriculture to tell them we appreciate the business and to try and build upon that."

Sutter pointed out that China is "consistently a big buyer" of U.S. agricultural products, and "that's something that continues to happen," as many of the USSEC's member companies have maintained cooperation in the Chinese market for a long time.

"China is a very good customer. They know how the trade works. The trade is smooth between U.S. and Chinese companies. So I think U.S. companies like to do business with their Chinese counterparts," he continued.

"We have to continue thinking about the long term," Sutter said. "Our farmers is a very long-term thinker. They buy land for years. They plant a crop, and it takes a whole year to grow ... for us it's to have this long-term relationship with China."

The business professional also stressed that at present, China's increasing focus on climate-smart agriculture and sustainability of agriculture will be "another part of this win-win relationship."

"As China wants to have more climate-smart agriculture and sustainable products, I think there is a very good opportunity to work with our U.S. farmers and exporters to make sure that they're getting stable raw materials," he said.

"U.S. soy has a great sustainability track record. We don't have any forestation issue with the lowest carbon footprint of any soy produced anywhere in the world," he said, adding that Chinese firms "will be looking even more to U.S. suppliers to help them" achieve sustainability.

"They can go into the production of sustainable things," the CEO said, adding that there is great room for China-U.S. agricultural cooperation to continue to grow in the future.

Editor: Gao Jingyan