Beijing – Mar. 21, 2017 – The American Chamber of Commerce in China today urged greater cooperation between China and the U.S. to open up the agriculture industry and enact reform that will improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector.

In a new report, titled Unlocking the Value of US-China Cooperation in Agriculture, the Chamber commends the policy changes already put in motion in 2016 and highlights areas where further cooperation and reform could both achieve China’s goals of food safety, security and sustainability and benefit the U.S. agriculture industry.

Visit here to download the report.

“No country can be self-sufficient in all the products its citizens want to eat, but even a country lacking in natural resources such as China can achieve food security through cooperation and investment in leading edge technologies,” AmCham China Chairman William Zarit said.

Agriculture Working Group Co-Chairs Yong Gao and Michael Boddington speak to 8 international and domestic media at the report launch roundtable.

Progress and challenges over the past year

China’s agriculture industry faces many structural problems, the report notes, but there was some progress this year with reform of corn pricing. It also commends the Ministry of Agriculture and Chinese academics for their efforts in improving public understanding of biotech-derived products.

However, the report also highlights other sectors that remain starved of investment, creating unnecessary difficulties and costs for everyone in the food chain. The ongoing ban on foreign companies breeding and marketing biotech seeds, for example, hinders modernization of the Chinese seed industry and widens the gap between China and other countries in terms of biotechnology. 

Delays in the approval of biotech commodities for import increase the risk of trade disruptions and slow agricultural innovation, and there remains significant work to do to realize the potential of cooperation in the trade of beef, pork and chicken.

“Building even better US-China cooperation in agriculture would both benefit the US agricultural industry and help China achieve its food security and safety goals,” Zarit said.

Specific recommendations

For the Chinese Government:

  • Improve the sustainability and competitiveness of Chinese agriculture by opening up the industry to foreign investment in seed technology, modern agricultural processing, and bulk transportation.
  • Establish a science-based and functional regulatory process for approving biotechnology-derived crop products in a timely manner in order to encourage agricultural innovation, increase public confidence and acceptance, and avoid trade disruptions.
  • Remove restrictions on the importation of US beef and pork.
  • Allow Chinese feed manufacturers access to affordable raw materials in order to enable Chinese protein producers to be globally efficient.
  • Encourage consistent agricultural equipment subsidy and homologation management policy implementation across provinces in order to increase efficiency.

For the US Government:

  • Work with Chinese officials through bilateral dialogues, including the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and US-China bilateral investment treaty negotiations to address the investment restrictions faced by US agriculture producers.
  • Employ a science-based approach to Chinese requests for market access for meat, fish, and produce, including cooked poultry, apples, pears, and catfish.

About AmCham China

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,000 individuals from 900 companies operating across China. The chamber's nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 40 working groups, and holds more than 200 events each year. Visit:

For more information, please contact:

Lin Lin

Tel: (8610) 8519-0831