Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter, State Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould, representatives of the Taiwan Flour Mills Association, and Idaho wheat industry officials signed an agreement Wednesday supporting U.S. wheat exports over the next two years -– a deal worth $576 million.
Taiwan Flour Mills Association Chairman Tony I-T Chen, Director General Vincent C.H. Yao of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle, Idaho Wheat Commission Vice-Chairman Bill Flory joined Otter and Gould for the ceremony at the Statehouse.
“The United States has long been Taiwan's most important supplier of agricultural products, which makes Taiwan the seventh largest overseas market for U.S. agricultural exports. Among the states, Idaho is one of the most important and reliable partners of Taiwan in terms of agricultural trade,” Yao said. “Taiwan's consumers benefit a lot from the high-quality agriculture products of Idaho.”
“Export markets are critical to Idaho’s economy and to Idaho wheat growers,” Otter said. “We welcome the Taiwan Flour Mills Association back to Idaho and greatly appreciate their loyalty as a customer. The consumption of wheat foods in Taiwan has now surpassed rice and we appreciate that the Taiwan milling industry recognizes the quality of Idaho wheat.”
The U.S. wheat industry has had a working relationship with Taiwan for more than forty years, reports say. The Taiwan Flour Millers Association imports wheat on behalf of all twenty Taiwanese flour mills. The United States supplies more than 80 percent of Taiwan’s total wheat imports each year.