During a visit to Washington, D.C., at the end of September, Yau-Kuen Hung, chairman of the Taiwan Vegetable Assn., and Wade Cowan, past president of the American Soybean Assn., signed a commitment by Taiwan's soy industry to purchase an additional 600,000 to 1 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans.
Last September, following a series of meetings held in Taiwan with government officials, Taiwan committed to purchasing $2.8 billion of U.S. grains. Taiwan announced that it planned to increase its previous purchase order of American-grown soybeans -- a component of last September’s agreement -- by 30%. Taiwan has now pledged to purchase $1.56 billion of U.S. soybeans.
Under the revised deal with Taiwan, the U.S. share of soybeans purchased by Taiwan will increase to 80-90% of the country's total purchases. It was also announced that the new agreement will result in 75% of Taiwan’s total soybean purchases coming from Iowa.
The Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office hosted a goodwill mission from Taiwan during the week with the help of a soybean farming family, and the delegation met with soy family representatives, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service and members of Congress.
The Taiwan goodwill trade delegation traveled to Minnesota and then to Iowa, visiting farms located in Hinton and Nevada, Iowa.
“It is a privilege to be able to bring the Taiwanese delegation to Iowa so that they can see our first-rate agriculture in the full flow of harvest,” said Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa), who escorted the delegation in Iowa. “I have been so aggressive in encouraging the Taiwanese to import increasing amounts of our goods that some have even taken to calling me ‘soybean Steve.’ I have little doubt that the Taiwanese procurement officials on this tour will be even more excited about increasing future purchase of our agricultural commodities after they get a chance to personally see what we have to offer them.”