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South China Business Journal


“Money does not grow on trees” is a common phrase we agricultural goods in 2016 – making it the fifth largest market in
use in the United States to emphasize the importance of pre- the world. In addition to wood materials, American suppliers
serving hard-earned resources. However, the United States has are enabling Chinese importers to provide a wide variety of food
proven that one can make money from growing trees! China’s choices such as cherries from the Pacific Northwest and lobster
efforts to protect its limited forest cover have resulted in strong from New England. Chinese farmers have also benefitted tre-
demand for wood imports from the United States, where the mendously from livestock feed ingredients made with American
wood supply is plentiful and sustainable. The U.S.-China wood soybeans, fully one-third of which are exported to China. This
products trade continues to increase and serves as an example trade is helping China move towards a sustainable consumption-
of how trade can help both our countries preserve and support based economy.
domestic industries.
We look forward to increased access for other high-quality U.S.
This past March, I attended the Guangzhou Interzum Wood Ma- agricultural products, such as American beef, which will further
terials Show and met with American hardwood and softwood ex- benefit both our countries. For those who are looking for agri-
porters. Having once worked at a U.S. lumber mill, I understand cultural trade partners, our consulate’s Agricultural Trade Office
the hard work and dedication that goes into creating these prod- stands ready to help.
ucts. Many American producers, mostly small family-run opera-
tions, only recently began exporting to China. In this short time, Charles Bennett
China has become an essential part of their business, accounting Consul General
for up to 40 percent of sales. Chinese wood importers tradition- Consulate General of the United States of America
ally used American wood to manufacture furniture for export Guangzhou, China
back to the United States. However, as China’s middle class con-
tinues to grow, the proportion of U.S. wood imports dedicated to
meeting Chinese domestic demand has also increased.

Guangzhou’s Interzum Wood Materials Show clearly demon-
strates that our two countries benefit from agricultural trade.
This is especially true in southern China, which is home to major
ports and manufacturing centers that supply the rest of the coun-
try. In fact, southern China received $8.3 billion worth of U.S.

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