Growing Asia markets including China and Vietnam are integral to U.S. economy in the future, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.
Vilsack made the comments while speaking the National Journal's Healthy Food, Healthy Planet policy summit in Washington. He also announced his planned visit to China and Vietnam in mid-November to strengthen bilateral trade relations and support the American brand throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Vilsack will travel to China as part of the U.S. government's delegation attending meetings for the 22nd Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). He is the first sitting American Secretary of Agriculture to visit Vietnam.
Vilsack noted that farm sector is making major contributions to the U.S. economy as the industry has seen record exports, a record trade surplus, near-record farm income, and low farm debt.
The trading partners in the Asia Pacific region recognize the United States as a reliable supplier of the highest-quality food and agricultural products thanks to the productivity of America's farmers, ranchers and producers, said Vilsack.
"Partnerships with growing markets like those in China and Vietnam are integral to the strength of the U.S. economy in the decades ahead," he added.
In 2011, China moved ahead of Mexico and Canada as the biggest market for U.S. agricultural goods. Vietnam is also one of the world's fastest growing economies and an important market for U.S. agricultural products.