The Paulson Institute and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs have jointly convened the U.S.-China Agricultural Investment Experts Group. The Group held its inaugural meeting in Chicago on October 15, 2012.
Members are practitioners and thought leaders from industry, the capital markets, business schools, research laboratories, land grant universities, state governments, industry councils, and agribusiness consultancies. The Group will meet periodically in Chicago to discuss opportunities and constraints in U.S.-China agriculture-related cross-investment, examine successes and failures, and explore potential investment models. Members will also provide peer review on studies and reports.
“The United States and China are missing opportunities to benefit from one another’s strengths,” said former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr., chairman of The Paulson Institute. “We need a level playing field and stronger market access in China for U.S. firms, to remove significant tariff and non-tariff barriers, and to overcome obstacles to American investment. But we also need more investment from China to help create and sustain American jobs.”
Paulson added, “China leads the world in foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities but earns low returns on those holdings. So it would be to the benefit of both countries if China also put some of those dollars to work in higher-return investments that create jobs in the United States.”
Changing supply and demand patterns are pulling the U.S. and Chinese agribusiness sectors together. The United States offers large-scale, consolidated, and efficient agricultural production, and cost and supply comparative advantages. And China’s vast population is becoming a consumption engine for foodstuffs. Demand for higher quality, more quantity, and greater diversity in agricultural products is rising rapidly in China.
Statistics show this trend clearly. In FY2011, China became the top market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing some $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports and yielding a substantial U.S. bilateral trade surplus in this sector. U.S. government statistics claim that the value of U.S. farm exports to China supported more than 160,000 American jobs in 2011, on and off the farm across a variety of sectors.
“U.S.-China agribusiness trade is booming but investment has lagged,” noted Marshall M. Bouton, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “With Chinese consumption growing, this is an especially opportune time to explore opportunities across the value chain.”
Participants in the U.S.-China Agricultural Investment Experts Group include:
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Chairman, The Paulson Institute
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Marshall M. Bouton
President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities, CME Group
President, Corn Business Unit, Archer Daniels Midland
Vice Chairman, Cargill
Former President, U.S. Grains Council
Executive Director, Global Agriculture and Food Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Executive Director, The Paulson Institute
Department of Agriculture, State of Nebraska
Vice President, Global Supply, Abbott Nutrition
Vice President and Counsel for International Affairs, National Pork Producers Council
Principal, Agriculture and Food Chains Practice, McKinsey and Company
Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business, Emeritus, Harvard Business School
Pioneer-Hi Bred Chair Professor in Agribusiness, Iowa State University
Director, Department of Agriculture, State of Nebraska
Director, The Paulson Institute
Chairman Emeritus, CME Group
Managing Director, Rabobank
Scholle Chair Professor of Food Processing, Emeritus, Purdue University
Managing Director, Rock Creek Global Advisors
Managing Partner, Rhodium Group
Vice President, Rock Creek Global Advisors
Section Leader, Argonne National Laboratory
Partner, DTB Associates
Director, Food and Agriculture Sector, McLarty Associates
Vice President, International Trade, American Meat Institute