US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Oct. 27 announced plans to travel to Vietnam and China in mid-November to help strengthen bilateral trade relations and support the American brand throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Vilsack is the first sitting American Secretary of Agriculture to visit Vietnam .

At the National Journal's Healthy Food, Healthy Planet Policy Summit in Washington , D.C. , Vilsack said partnerships with growing markets like those in China and Vietnam are integral to the strength of the US economy in the decades ahead.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Ag Information Network (, Vietnam is one of the world's fastest growing economies and an important market for US agricultural products. In the past decade, Vietnam jumped from the fiftieth to fifteenth position as a market for US farm exports.

“ Vietnam is a country I think that understands the importance of modern agricultural technology including biotechnology so it’s an opportunity for us to get an ally in that effort,” quoted Vilsack as saying.

He also said the visit to Vietnam will be an opportunity to continue to build on the enormous growth that the US has seen in that market in the last 15 years going from 175 million USD in agriculture trade to 2.3 billion USD, a 7500 percent increase.

In Vietnam , Vilsack will meet with Vietnamese officials, agricultural students, and US food and agricultural businesses.

Vilsack will travel to China as part of the Obama Administration's delegation attending meetings for the 22nd Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade./.