Earlier this week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stopped in Shanghai as a part of a trade tour in the People’s Republic of China. Snyder’s visit is part of a three day trade delegation meeting designed to explore trade opportunities for China, the United States, and the state of Michigan. Accompanying Snyder is a team of government, university, and business officials.
Of particular importance for many Michiganders is the future of agricultural trade between Michigan and China. Top state officials say that if the trade talks go well that Michigan cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and other high value agricultural products could be heading to China. Michigan fruits were among the most demanded produce in the trade talks held so far.
In addition to fruits, many Michigan farmers are interested in the future of soybeans, a major crop in the state. As China develops economically, its standard of living has been rising. With the growth of the Chinese middle class come new dietary practices, including the consumption of more and more meat. As such, soybean producers in the U.S. have seen increased foreign demand for soybeans and other feed crops.
Currently the state’s 71$ billion agricultural sector exported over $50 million worth of agricultural goods, much of them going to Asia. While the trip is not necessarily concerned with forging specific trade deals, many politicians hope that strengthening the relationship between China and Michigan will lead to more lucrative deals in the future.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer