The recent trade mission led by Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann focused on trade with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. One of the participants on the trip was Scott Beck, of Beck’s Hybrids, who told HAT Indiana agriculture is well known and well respected in these important Asian markets, “Indiana is a leader in opening the Asian market. We have had a sister state relationship with a state in Japan for over 40 years; and, in Taiwan, Indiana was the first to open an office of economic development over 20 years ago.”
While there are trade issues that involve tariffs on meat products and restrictions on some biotechnology, Beck is optimistic about the future of trade with Asia and Indiana’s role in it, “Their culture is a bit more formal than ours, and relationships and trust are very important to them. I think we will have a very strong trading relationship with them as long as we show up and show interest in them.” The delegation met with several influential trade organizations, and Indiana had a display at an international food show held in Taiwan. ISDA director Ted Mckinney said there will be future trade missions to the region.
Another reason Beck is optimistic about the future of trade with Asian markets is the investment being made by US companies. While in Japan, the delegation visit the Cargill facility, “It was an amazing facility moving hundreds of millions of bushels of grain annually with a 24/7 operation.” The group also saw a new Cargill feed mill under construction that will be the largest in the world. Beck had high praise for the Lt. Governor and for the make-up of the 23 member delegation.