Blunt, McCaskill push for improved ag trade with China

As Chinese president Xi Jinping tours the U.S. this week, a bipartisan group of senators is urging the Obama administration to seek improvements in U.S. agricultural trade with China.

Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill were among the senators who signed a letter urging Obama to push for streamlining of the process that gets U.S. exports to the important market.

Regulators in China have rejected shipments of U.S. corn after determining they contained unapproved genetically modified varieties. For ra time, China barred all U.S. corn imports, spawning lawsuits from U.S. farmers.

Exports to the country accounted for an average of $23.5 billion per year between 2011-2013, according to the USDA, making China the top U.S. agricultural export destination during that time.

“Missouri farmers have to be able to sell our products in China on a level playing field and right now they’re being treated unfairly,” McCaskill said.

Read more from St. Louis Public Radio and KCUR

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