March 22, 2011
News Release 11-029
Inv. No. 332-518
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


United States Remains the Leading Supplier of Agricultural Products to China

Demand for imported food is growing rapidly in China due to rising incomes, greater urbanization, and the increasing importance of food quality and safety to consumers, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its new publication China's Agricultural Trade: Competitive Conditions and Effects on U.S. Exports.

U.S. farmers and food manufacturers have benefited significantly from rising Chinese imports of several important products, according to the report. However, they continue to face export restrictions created by tariffs, tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), and non-tariff measures (NTMs); some of these measures substantially limit or prohibit certain U.S. agricultural products from entering the Chinese market. Low labor costs, government support, and trade policies enhance the competitiveness of Chinese agricultural products, while other factors such as its land tenure system and its fragmented transportation and cold storage infrastructure weaken it.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report at the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

As requested, the report provides an overview of China's agricultural consumption, production, and trade, including China's participation in the global export market and in trade agreements. It describes China's tariffs, TRQs, and NTMs that affect U.S. imports, as well as competitive factors in the Chinese agricultural sector. The study also provides economic modeling analysis of the effects of Chinese tariffs, certain NTMs, and trade agreements on Chinese imports of U.S. products.

Highlights of the report follow:

China's Agricultural Trade: Competitive Conditions and Effects on U.S. Exports (Investigation No. 332-518, USITC Publication 4219, March 2011) will be available on the USITC's Internet site at A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by e-mailing, calling 202-205-2000, or contacting the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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