AMES, Iowa – The US Department of Agriculture will lead an agricultural trade mission to China that will include more than 40 US agribusinesses and representatives from six State Departments of Agriculture, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on March 2. The trade mission will travel to China's two largest cities, Chengdu and Shanghai from March 23-28.

The mission aims to help US participants position themselves to enter or expand their presence in China. They will receive first-hand market information, access to government decision-makers, and meetings with business contacts, potential agents, distributors, and importers. Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse will lead the trade mission which will begin in Chengdu, a major economic, transportation, and communication center in western China and home of USDA's newest Agricultural Trade Office. The next stop will be Shanghai.

"This trade mission, USDA's largest to date, offers American businesses the opportunity to position themselves to enter or expand their presence in China, one of our strongest trading partners," Vilsack said. "China and the United States share a special relationship, and we embrace this opportunity to continue our in-depth dialogue on issues of mutual concern.

"At the same time, we want to ensure that our American farmers, ranchers and producers continue to be recognized across China and the Asia Pacific as reliable suppliers of the highest-quality food and agricultural products," he added.