A trade delegation from the U.S. west Pacific state of Oregon will travel to China this week to encourage more trade between the two sides, the Oregon TV outlet KTVZ reported Tuesday.
The delegation, to be led by Alexis Taylor, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, will travel to Shanghai in eastern China on May 12-17 with a dozen Oregon food and drink producers to encourage more agricultural exports to China, the world's second largest economy.
"The delegation going to China this year is very diverse, everything from berries to beef," Taylor said.
He said Oregon wants to strengthen its "relationships with buyers we know, connect with new buyers and introduce some high-quality Oregon products that the growing Chinese market is ready to experience."
Oregon beef producers place high hopes on the lucrative Chinese market as statistics have estimated that China's middle-class is on track to grow by more than 160 million households in the next decade.
The U.S. west state is expected to ship beef products to China for the first time in more than a decade, according to the TV report.
Nathan Jackson, president of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association and general manager of K-Bar Ranches, said Oregon plans to explore the long-term prospects for the state's beef in the China market.
"Trade work in this market that just opened for U.S. and Oregon beef will be an important way for us to educate our Chinese buyers about Oregon beef, and to learn how best to market our product in China," he added.
Taylor said agricultural trade is critical for Oregon's economy, which was reflected in its heavy trade with China in 2017.
Last year, more than 290 million U.S. dollars in Oregon food and agricultural products went to China, the state's fourth largest market for products behind Japan, South Korea and Canada, said the TV report.
"With the uncertainty surrounding federal trade policy and the state's fourth largest trading partner, China, we believe there is no better time for us to strengthen our relationships with Chinese buyers," Taylor said.