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US-China trade forum held amid disputes

US-China trade forum held amid disputes

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 (Xinhua): US-China Agriculture Food Trade Forum was held Thursday in the western U.S. state of California, focusing on the promotion of marketing communication and cooperation between the agriculture and food industry of the two countries amid Washington-triggered trade tensions. The event, jointly hosted by the Representative Office in the United States by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the China Certification and Inspection Group, CCIC North America Inc., attracted around 200 representatives from both countries. "China's market need for soybeans and other U.S. agricultural products is huge and strong, but because of the trade conflicts between the two countries, people are now worried about the decline of the exports of U.S. agricultural products to China. That's one of the reasons why we are gathered here," said Zhao Zhenge, general representative of CCPIT Representative Office in the United States. "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 positive energy we are all longing for, especially in the current situation of U.S.-China relationship," said Liu Haiyan, commercial counselor of China's Consulate General in Los Angeles. "Agriculture is one of the earliest sectors of China- U.S. economic and trade cooperation. China is now an important market for U.S. agriculture produce," he noted. According to Chinese customs statistics, China-U.S. agriculture trade in 2017 reached 31.8 billion U.S. dollars, equivalent to 5.4 percent of the total of bilateral trade. U.S. statistics show that China was the second largest export market of American agricultural products, the largest export destination of American soybeans and the second largest export destination of American cotton in 2017. On average, each American farmer exported some 12,000 dollars of agricultural products to China. "We are seeing a lot of concern from our clients about the negative impacts on them of the U.S. China tariffs. We hoped 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 which is a cooperative program of Washington State University and the University of Idaho, told Xinhua. Gleyn, who also works as a consultant in the area 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 United states." "It's a difficult moment for China-U.S. agriculture trade nowadays," said Phillips F. Richard, general manager of Department of Agri- Product and Foods of CCIC North America Inc., calling for quick action to eliminate the tariff wall

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