CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) this week joined with business leaders and policymakers from the U.S. and China to support and strengthen ties between the two countries at the first-ever Chicago, Illinois, U.S., meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.

Emphasizing the company’s continued and growing business in China, ADM also participated in a public ceremony during which it signed agreements with three Chinese soybean customers: Wilmar International Limited, Sinograin and Yuntianhua Group.

“China is a critical and growing market for us, and we are committed to continuing to expand our business to serve Chinese customers,” said Wesley Uhlemyer, ADM’s vice-president, export trading.  

“Today, the relationship between the U.S. and China is at an important inflection point,” said Lorraine Hawley, ADM’s director, international government relations. Hawley was speaking at a panel discussion that was hosted by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and which included Chinese Vice-Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun.

“Our complementary interests regarding agriculture are already serving as a basis for cooperation and collaboration,” Hawley said. “We believe agriculture can be the foundation for a stronger overall relationship in years to come. Working together, we have an opportunity to form an aligned approach to agriculture — strengthening the overall U.S.-China relationship, while addressing each nation’s specific interests and goals.”

ADM Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Ray Young, who attended the JCCT Commencement Dinner, confirmed afterwards the strength of ADM’s commitment to China.

“ADM has been working to help meet China’s food needs for more than a quarter of a century. Just last month, we opened the sweetener-manufacturing portion of our integrated food manufacturing complex at the port of Tianjin. Next year, that complex will add the ability to produce soluble fiber, which is used to add dietary fiber to a wide range of food and beverage products,” he said. “We are continuing to expand our capabilities to serve food and beverage customers as they respond to increasing demand in China for food products of greater variety, nutrition and convenience.”