China - Country Commercial Guide
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China’s agricultural imports, exports, and production have expanded greatly since acceding to the WTO in 2001, and China was the largest export market for U.S agricultural products in 2021 at $35.9 billion. Agricultural and food products face complex, non-transparent, and ever-changing regulations in China, including increased COVID-19 sanitary measures.  These present substantial market access barriers, as is true in other sectors.

The resolution of these issues and expanding China’s purchase of U.S. agricultural products were priorities in the Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Those issues are summarized in the USTR Fact Sheet (PDF).

Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States and China

The Agriculture Chapter of the Economic and Trade Agreement addressed a multitude of non-tariff barriers to U.S. agriculture and seafood products. A key outcome was China’s commitment to purchase and import on average approximately $40 billion of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products annually for a total of at least $80 billion by 2021. Work remains to be done on technical barriers and purchases to ensure China’s commitments are met.


China imposed additional import tariffs on many U.S. food and agricultural products in response to the United States’ Section 232 and 301 trade actions. However, China has also implemented a tariff exclusion process for imports of U.S. commodities. Importers can apply for exclusions from Section 301 retaliatory tariffs through the tariff exclusion process. USDA has published guidance on the process for U.S. exporters. Additional reports can be found in USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

Products with Potential Growth

In its Exporter Guide USDA identifies the following as products with growth potential.

  • Pork & pork products
  • Dairy products
  • Fish products
  • Beef and beef products
  • Fresh fruit
  • Food preparations
  • Poultry & products
  • Wine and Beer
  • Tree nuts

USDA-Endorsed Trade Shows

Each year, USDA endorses trade shows that provide the best international exposure and marketing opportunities for U.S. companies and producers. The Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), a branch of the USDA stationed in U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world, works with show organizers and other partners to create a “USA Pavilion” to showcase the variety and quality of made-in-America products to potential foreign buyers. FAS also provides participating companies with marketing and promotion services, market intelligence, logistical support, and on-site assistance. In addition, in order to support U.S. agribusiness in today’s ever-changing trade environment, FAS is expanding its trade promotion activities to include virtual trade events.

USDA-endorsed trade shows in China include:

  • SIAL China
  • Food Ingredients China
  • Food and Hospitality China
  • China Fisheries and Seafood Expo

Note: Due to the evolving COVID situation in China, many trade shows have been postponed, relocated, or cancelled. Dates for all trade shows are subject to change.  

Exporter Assistance

FAS provides a range of information for those interested in exporting and programs to help build markets for U.S. agricultural products. Those interested in exporting food and agricultural products to China should review the Exporter Guide and Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) country and certificate reports which are published annually by FAS. 


The FAS Website features general information about trade shows and other promotional venues to showcase agricultural products, FAS-sponsored promotional efforts, export financing and assistance, and a directory of registered suppliers and buyers of agricultural, fishery, and forestry goods in the United States and abroad.

  • The FAS Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) includes a wide range of reports on agricultural markets, market intelligence, trade policy issues, and regulations.  GAIN reports are published by FAS foreign service officers and locally engaged staff in over 90 overseas offices.