May 18, 2023
BEIJING, CHINA – The U.S. Embassy Beijing hosted the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) at a gala here last week with more than 200 government officials, agricultural traders, and representatives from commodity groups in attendance.
U.S. Ambassador Nicolas Burns and Agricultural Minister Counselor Robert Hanson started the program off with an official welcome, and USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward, along with other U.S. commodity industry leaders, sent greetings and congratulations via video.
Two types of U.S.-grown rice were served at the catered dinner: steamed U.S. jasmine, and fried rice, Yangzhou style, prepared with U.S. tri-color brown rice.
At the event, USA Rice briefed Minister Counselor Hanson, ATO Beijing Director Lashonda McLeod, and ATO Shenyang Director Chris Frederick about USA Rice promotion programs in China. Rice importers from the state-owned BDH Group and privately-held Sino State-Farm were included in the USA Rice guest list and talked with McLeod about trade opportunities between the two countries.
“China represents the largest new export opportunity for U.S. rice,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice director of Asia promotion programs. “Unfortunately, trade frictions and overall negative bilateral relations have impacted the ability of U.S. rice to enter the China market in substantial quantities.”
USA Rice research shows that consumer interest in U.S. rice is high and imports could reach 100,000 MT in a matter of years should relations between the two countries improve.