U.S. – China 5 Year Agreement – Could Be A Sustainable Agricultural “Uh Oh”

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The U.S. and China will sign a 5-year agriculture deal which was announced today at the end of an agriculture conference in Iowa. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and China Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu announced the deal. Xi Jingping also was cited as announcing the deal though he was not present.

The U.S. and China are concerned about feeding the world’s poor – that’s a good thing. What might not be good is that the U.S. and China will shortly sign a five-year agreement that will guide discussions on food security, food safety, trade, and sustainable agriculture. The agreement will also call for sharing of know-how and research.

If Obama didn’t orchestrate government control over 16% of our rural lands with EO 13575 and didn’t send so much of our technical knowledge to other countries, I wouldn’t be concerned.

Trade with China is very important and for now this seems like a good deal with Iowa benefitting. According to Bloomberg, China, the world’s biggest soybean importer and consumer, signed agreements in Iowa to purchase 8.62 million metric tons of the oilseed from U.S. suppliers in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. The soybean market is up today on the news and Iowa farmers certainly need this boost.

Trade and cooperation with China is a good thing as is having benchmarks in a five-year agreement, so I don’t want to minimize that. I do want to add a few alerts just the same.

What climate change propositions are we going to abide by, and and since we are going to share our agriculture/technical wealth, what are the terms? Obama’s views on globalization concern me. Obama is quick to sign our rights away with nothing in return so I think we need to keep an eye on this one. It might be nothing, might be something.

The five year agreement gives structure to the programs we share.

A couple of quotes from the meeting about climate change and feeding the world  –

…”It charts the course and gives us a guiding document that we can reference and, over time, refine and improve,” said Scott Sindelar, the agricultural minister counselor at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, who attended the Des Moines conference. “The environment that we deal with is constantly changing and it’s important that we have these kinds of reference points for the programs that we do have.”…

…”We have the responsibility and opportunity to work together to address the causes of global hunger that effect more than 925 million people. Current populations trends mean that we must increase agricultural production by 70 percent in the year 2050 to feed nearly 9 billion people,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack… Read here: Boston.com

We are going to share our technical know-how and research, eliminating their (China’s) need to steal it from us.

“We are the world’s two largest agricultural producers and strong collaborators in agricultural research and education,” said Vilsack. “The expertise, technical know-how, research and combined will of our two nations can go a long way to filling empty stomachs and improve incomes and economies around the world.”

Are we trading short-term soybean benefits for future exploitation? Maybe.

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