The U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs Ted McKinney, said on Tuesday that a recent round of negotiations with China yielded some progress on agricultural issues, though more talks were needed. McKinney was part of the U.S. delegation at the talks that took place in Beijing and ended on June 3.  The delegation also included Gregg Doud, the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agricultural negotiator, as well as other officials.

McKinney told reporters via a teleconference that he and other officials from USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative went into talks in Beijing earlier this month “very cautiously optimistic, even skeptical, but came away cautiously optimistic.” He said the discussions “improved even more than just a little.”

For agricultural products, the United States is focusing on policy and regulatory issues in the talks, including pushing China to drop a ban on U.S. poultry imports and that USDA was seeking better access for genetically modified crops into China.

McKinney indicated that he wants to hold more trade talks with China. “I don’t think that we got everything we wanted, but I think this is a continuation,” McKinney said.  Doud, speaking at an agricultural event in Iowa, also said negotiations with China “had a way to go.”