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JOHANNS SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH CHINA ON FOOD SAFETY AND PLANT AND ANIMAL HEALTH

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2006 -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Minister Li Changjiang of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to improve bilateral cooperation on animal and plant health and food safety.

"China is an increasingly important market for U.S. food and agricultural products," said Johanns. "In 2005, U.S. farmers and ranchers sold more than $6 billion in agricultural products to China, making it our fifth largest export market. This memorandum of understanding will create a structure to enable us to address sanitary, phytosanitary and food safety issues before they become barriers to the thriving agricultural trade between our two countries."

Under this MOU the two countries will exchange information on food regulations and standards, inspection and quarantine procedures, and other issues such as pests and disease, harmful residues, and food certification.

The MOU was signed in conjunction with the 17th meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) plenary held in Washington, D.C. The JCCT provides the United States and China with an opportunity for high-level discussions on bilateral trade issues, and a means to strengthen commercial relationships. The JCCT last met in China in July 2005.

Johanns participated in the 17th U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting held in Washington today. The forum was co-chaired by Vice Premier Wu Yi for China and on the U.S. side by U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

The JCCT provides the United States and China with an opportunity for high-level discussions on bilateral trade issues, and a means to strengthen commercial relationships. The JCCT last met in China in July 2005.

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Release No. 0124.06
FAS PR 0046-06

Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623
Harold Kanarek (202) 720-0328



 
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