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GT Voice: Success of China-France farm trade may offer lessons for US 环球之声:中法农产品贸易的成功或可为美国提供借鉴

Release time:2024-05-09 16:53 Click volume:321553


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Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

 

China and France issued a joint statement on agricultural exchanges and cooperation on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

 

The two sides agreed to enhance collaboration in agricultural science and technology, education, rural development, grape cultivation and wine-making, and agricultural food, among other areas, according to the statement.

 

Increasing collaboration between China and France in the agricultural field is bound to drive bilateral agricultural trade, injecting new vitality into the development of both countries' agricultural sectors. Moreover, the success of China and France in tapping the potential of their complementarities in agricultural trade may also offer valuable lessons for China-US agricultural trade in the complex environment.

 

China and France have a longstanding history of fruitful cooperation in the agricultural sector, with bilateral trade of agricultural products on a steady rise in recent years. According to statistics from the Chinese customs, France is China's top agricultural import partner in the EU and the second-largest agricultural trading partner within the bloc.

 

In particular, in April 2023, China worked with France to set up a "French farm to Chinese dining table" whole-chain rapid coordination mechanism, which has become a shining example of practical cooperation between the two countries.

 

The sound development of agricultural trade between China and France is not only bolstered by the significance placed on agricultural cooperation by the two governments, but also by the complementary nature of their agricultural sectors.

 

For a long time, the Chinese and French governments have attached great importance to agricultural cooperation in their bilateral relations and signed various agreements to create a favorable environment for relevant trade.

 

Compared to the mutually beneficial trade between China and France, the China-US agricultural trade has been significantly affected by the US-initiated trade war against China in recent years. The ongoing uncertainty in China-US trade relations, particularly the US trade policy toward China, has hindered the potential for trade complementarity between the two countries and could disrupt the normal flow of global trade.

 

China has become the world's largest importer of agricultural products, while the US is still the largest exporter. Yet, trade tensions between the two countries have created uncertainty in agricultural trade, affecting the long-term interests of both countries' agriculture sectors and farmers.

 

According to data released by the US Census Bureau, US exports of agricultural and related products hit a three-year low in 2023. Specifically, China's portion of US agricultural exports dropped to a four-year low of 16.6 percent from a record 19.2 percent in 2022, Reuters reported.

 

Against the declining trend of agricultural exports, China's booming agricultural trade with France could serve as a reminder that the US needs to rethink its trade strategy toward China to get agricultural trade with China back on track, and on the right one.

 

In the long run, as the Chinese economy continues to grow and China pursues consumption upgrades, it needs diversified products to meet its huge potential for agricultural consumption, which provides opportunities for global suppliers of agricultural products. The China market is critical not only for French farmers but also for American farmers. If US agricultural suppliers can successfully tap and adapt to this market, they will stand to gain enormously, similar to their French peers. This will not only promote the development of American agriculture but also contribute to the health and stability of global agricultural trade.

 

Given the successful experience of China-France agricultural trade, it is hoped that China and the US can find a solution to their problems. Resolving these issues will require the US to adhere to international trade norms and work toward a negotiated solution. Ultimately, the future of China-US agricultural trade and the achievement of mutually beneficial outcomes will depend on the willingness of the US to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation.

 

中法两国在周一发表了一份关于加强农业交流与合作的联合声明,双方同意在农业科技、教育、乡村发展、葡萄种植及酿酒等领域增强合作。这一合作的加强,预计将推动双边农业贸易,为两国农业部门的发展注入新活力。

 

中法两国在农业领域有着长期而富有成效的合作历史,近年来双边农产品的贸易持续增长。根据中国海关的统计数据,法国是中国在欧盟内最大的农产品进口伙伴及第二大农业贸易伙伴。特别是在2023年4月,中法建立了“从法国农场到中国餐桌”的全链条快速协调机制,成为两国务实合作的一个亮点。

 

与中法农业贸易的成功形成鲜明对比的是,中美在农业贸易方面受到了近年来美国发起的对华贸易战的影响。美国对中国的贸易政策不确定性,阻碍了两国贸易的互补潜力,可能破坏全球贸易的正常流程。数据显示,2023年美国对华农产品出口跌至三年低点,中国在其农产品出口中的占比也降至四年来的最低。

 

新闻强调,中法在农业贸易方面的成功经验对中美农业贸易提供了宝贵的启示。在中美贸易关系复杂环境下,美国需要重新考虑其对华贸易策略,以期恢复并优化与中国的农业贸易。长期看,随着中国经济的持续增长和消费升级,中国市场对多样化农产品的巨大需求为全球农产品供应商提供了机会。希望中美能找到解决现有问题的方法,通过遵守国际贸易规范和寻求谈判解决方案,推动双方农业贸易关系的健康与稳定发展。

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