TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Just days after Taiwan signed a deal with U.S. representatives in Washington on Sept. 18 to purchase US$3.7 billion (NT$114 billion) in corn, soybeans, grain, and beef, Taiwan’s Goodwill Mission is traveling across the U.S. to sign partner agreements with individual states.
Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson confirmed on Friday (Sept. 20) that Taiwan has agreed to purchase US$2 billion (NT$62 billion) in corn and soybeans from Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska over the next two years. A representative of the Taiwan Flour Millers Association in Nebraska also signed a letter of intent to purchase US$576 million (NT$US18 billion) worth of wheat.
In total, that amounts to 96 million bushels of soybeans and 197 bushels of corn over the next two years. As for wheat, Taiwan is expected to purchase 66 million bushels, said U.S. Wheat Associate Steve Mercer, as reported by WNAX. Taiwan’s willingness to purchase the crops from partners in the U.S. has provided some relief for many farmers in the U.S., said Gipson, as quoted by local media.
“We all know about the ongoing trade dispute with China and the hard position taken by China. They’ve not been buying our soybeans. So, we’ve been looking for other areas in which we could sell Mississippi soybeans and corn. We found that in Taiwan…This provides a level of certainty."
In recent years, Taiwan has grown into one of the top 10 national buyers of U.S. grain products according the U.S. Grain Council, making trade between Taiwan and U.S. farmers the basis of an important relationship. With the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, trade volume between Taiwan and the U.S. is expected to increase in the years ahead.
Over the next week, the Taiwan Goodwill Mission will be visiting several more U.S. states to sign individual memoranda of agreement, reports Farm Forum. USGC Chairman Darren Armstrong expressed his appreciation and optimism for the relationship moving forward.
"The recurring Goodwill Mission continues to demonstrate the commitment the two partners have to continued purchases and heightened confidence in U.S. agricultural products. The programs we’ve worked on together have allowed the Council and our partners in Taiwan to develop the agricultural industries and improve the lives of all our citizens. We are very thankful to continue this healthy trading relationship with Taiwan.”