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Taiwan prepares to buy U.S. ag products

Taiwan prepares to buy U.S. ag products

U.S. grain and meat exporters plan to sign a letter of intent

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The U.S. ag industry could expand its relationship with another Asian trading partner while the Chinese and American governments try to work out a deal.

Taiwanese officials, led by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Chen Junne-Jih, will be in the United States this week to meet with representatives from the U.S. grain and meat industries. The Taiwanese representatives will sign a letter of intent to purchase US$3.6 billion of American ag goods.

Soybeans, corn, wheat and beef will be included in the trade package, reports indicate.

Taiwan is using the diplomatic landscape between the U.S. and China to secure more trade.

“Undeniably, the U.S.-China trade dispute has affected U.S. agricultural exports, and the deal (with Taiwan) is beneficial not only to U.S. farmers, but also to Taiwan, as our nation is now in a better bargaining position in terms of prices,” Chen said, the Taipei Times reported.

The U.S. has seen an uptick in the amount of ag exports to Taiwan.

Between 2008 and 2018, ag trade to Taiwan has increased by 15 percent from US$3.4 billion to US$3.9 billion annually, the USDA says. And the country ranks ninth among U.S. ag export markets.

Whether the US$3.6 billion in ag exports is in addition to the 2018 figure is unknown at this point.

Taiwan hopes to position itself as a reliable trading partner for the U.S. ag sector.

“While the U.S.-China relationship is deeply trapped by a trade dispute, Taiwan instead has been a trustworthy trading partner of the U.S. and is taking substantial action to enhance a closer U.S.-Taiwan economic cooperation,” the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. said in a statement, South China Morning Post reported. has reached out to the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation for comment.

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