SACRAMENTO- The California Department of Food and Agriculture met this week with agricultural trade policy negotiators from Africa and Asia to establish trade relationships and provide a California perspective on U.S. trade policy. The meeting included discussions on avian influenza, agricultural trade issues and food safety concerns.
California farmers and ranchers, on average, export an estimated 20 percent of what they produce. California is the largest agricultural export state in the nation with more than $8 billion in food and agriculture exports. However, the potential of California exports is restricted by a variety of trade barriers. Among these barriers are tariffs, production subsidies, and tariff rate quotas. Through negotiations, agreements on trade differences can be reached, allowing for the expansion of overall trade.
“Trade is a vital component of California agriculture,” said Robert Tse, CDFA Director of Trade. “The more we can do to open doors for trade, like Governor Schwarzenegger’s China trade mission, the more California benefits.”
The trade policy delegation consisted of representatives from South Africa, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Jordan. The negotiators are traveling as part of a USDA funded program and will also be meeting with representatives from the US Department of Agriculture, the Office of the US Trade Representative and Congress. Last year, California exported more than $28 million in agricultural products to countries represented on the delegation.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814