LANSING (AP) - Michigan has struck a deal to boost exports of its corn and soybeans to Taiwan as part of the state’s broader efforts to expand its international trade.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday hosted the Agriculture Trade Goodwill Mission from Taiwan in Lansing. The delegation’s visit was part of an effort to learn more about Michigan soybean and corn production.
“This provides a great opportunity for our Michigan corn and soybean growers and processors to forge new relationships and expand their export opportunities in the Taiwan market, Jamie Clover Adams, the department’s director, said in a statement.
The agreement signed during the visit involves the Michigan Corn Marketing Program and the Taiwan Feed Industry Association, as well as the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association, officials said.
According to officials, the Taiwan Feed Industry Association expects the purchase of $1.8 billion of corn and related products from the U.S. over the next two years and the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association anticipates the purchase nearly $1.7 billion of U.S. soybeans in 2014 and 2015.
The delegation also visited a farm in Livingston County and toured a Michigan State University’s farm.
“I believe that only good can come of an agricultural partnership between our great state and Taiwan,” said Republican state Sen. Joe Hune of Livingston County’s Hamburg Township. “By promoting Michigan agricultural commodities, we could possibly see an economic boom in agri-business.”
The agreement comes as Michigan works to boost agriculture exports and encourage job-creation in the food industry. Earlier this month, Clover Adams traveled with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on a trade trip in China and Japan. Part of the effort included promoting Michigan agriculture.
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