COLUMBUS, Ohio — Trade continues to be an issue between the United States and Chinese governments. Despite this, the United States Department of Agriculture reported major increases in exports.
According to the USDA, the total U.S. agricultural exports in 2020 sits at nearly $146 billion - an increase of 7% from 2019. The department said shipments of soybeans, corn, and pork to China are the primary factors.
Spectrum News 1 agriculture expert Andy Vance discussed the current status of the relationship.
"Things aren't exactly back to normal," Vance said. "The agriculture industry is still trying to push the Biden administration and new trade representatives to move forward with the China phase one trade agreement. The Chinese still have to come around to some things on that."
Despite this, Vance said last year was still a win.
"2020 was the second best year of exports on record. It was a huge year for U.S. agriculture exports according to the USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service," he said. "Even with some of those challenges with China, China still remains the number one market for U.S. ag exports and last year, overall, was the second best year on record for U.S. farmers, so not all that bad given the challenges of where we've been coming from China."
Vance also discussed how this impacts Ohio farmers.
"We produce a lot of soybeans in the state of Ohio. We typically say if you look at a field and you count three rows of soybeans, one out of every three of those rows is going to China," Vance said. "We look at pork. We produce a lot of pork in the state of Ohio. The number one destination for U.S. pork last year was China."