U.S. Election Implications

As President-elect Trump’s transition planning begins and the new Congress is established, NAEGA is monitoring and evaluating potential policy moves and key administration personnel in USDA, USTR and Treasury. Currently, we are working with two small groups of agriculture trade leaders to respond to the impact and changes that may result from the policies of the presidentelect and the new U.S. Congress. Possible changes to, or a renegotiation of, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and broader policy changes that could affect the agriculture trade are both under consideration. NAEGA will keep members updated on U.S. policy changes.

NAEGA members may be interested in the following post-election analysis from Arent Fox, LLP, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Please contact Gary or Ryan if you have any questions.

Market Access Program 2017 Funding

On Monday, November 14 NAEGA received word that its 2017 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been accepted and NAEGA will receive funding under the Market Access Program (MAP) in 2017. MAP funding in 2017 for NAEGA will be limited to a $346,388 ceiling, $7,000 higher than its 2016 ceiling.

A copy of NAEGA’s 2017 UES application is available here. For more information, please contact Ryan.

Vietnam Fumigation

NAEGA continues its engage with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) on upcoming Vietnamese fumigation requirements and a potential suspension on the trade of U.S. origin DDGS into Vietnam. On Thursday, November 18 NAEGA participated in a conference call with APHIS, FAS and industry stakeholders to receive an update on APHIS efforts to engage Vietnam PPD on this issue. Currently, industry is facing a methyl bromide fumigation requirement for all shipments of wheat and corn to Vietnam after the bill of lading date of December 1, 2016. Furthermore, Vietnam has announced a suspension of the import of U.S. origin DDGS by the bill of lading date of December 17, 2016. Both of these requirements are related to the discovery of live pests in past shipments of wheat, corn and DDGS from the United States.

Currently, Vietnamese authorities have shown their willingness to work with APHIS on a pilot treatment schedule for DDGS in bulk and containers that may suit PPD demands and allow industry to avoid a suspension of trade. The current proposal that APHIS is seeking with Vietnam PPD includes: - For containers: A minimum phosphine dosage of 750ppm and an increased exposure of 3 days for shipments with a 70-degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature and 4 days for shipments with a 60-69-degree ambient temperature. In addition, stowage inspection will occur at loading to ensure shipments are free of debris. - For bulk: Identical concentration of gas as containers at 750ppm. New requirements for fumigation to use the recirculation method to ensure a higher kill rate on inspects present in the shipment.

For bulk wheat and corn, APHIS is continuing to work with Vietnam PPD for approval of a fumigation program that includes phosphine instead of methyl bromide. Vietnamese authorities have been insistent that methyl bromide be used for fumigation of all shipments of wheat and corn due to instances of phosphine resistance in shipments from the United States.

This is an ongoing and unfolding situation. More information will be available in the coming days and will be communicated to NAEGA members as soon as it is available. For more information please contact Gary or Ryan.

USAEDC Annual Workshop

On November 15 and 16 NAEGA Director of Operations Ryan Olson travelled to Baltimore, MD to attend the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council’s (USAEDC) Annual Workshop. A copy of the agenda is available here.

During the workshop, Ryan heard reports on USDA programs and policy objectives over the past year, including:

Market Access Program
USDA Market Access Program (MAP) participants have been notified of their 2017 program year ceilings. This program year overall funds for participants are lower due to higher rate of fund usage in 2017 and the addition of a new program participant. USDA Office of Trade Programs staff, which oversees the MAP program, added that program funding in the future remains insecure do to short term funding of the federal government and ongoing sequestration.

Cuba Policy
The Administration continues to pursue President Obama’s priority of liberalizing agricultural trade with Cuba. USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Alexis Taylor spoke to the plenary session about the progress and promise of increased agricultural trade. In addition, the State Department and FAS spoke on USDA’s continued work on the island. Currently, USDA has signed 10 memorandums of understanding with the Cuban government regarding agricultural relations and the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has undertaken six rounds of country sanctions changes. The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) currently has a rotating employee working in the Embassy in Havana, and the USDA hopes to assign more long-term staff to the Embassy once resources are available. Moving forward, USDA and the State Department are pursuing three channels for future engagement: continued dialogues regarding property rights, human rights and U.S. prisoners; strengthening bilateral cooperation; and explaining to the public and the Cuban people the scope and detail of policy changes.

Please contact Ryan for more information on the workshop or if you have any questions.

2nd Annual World Grain Forum

On November 18 and 19 NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin represented NAEGA and the IGTC at the 2nd Annual World Grain Forum in Sochi, Russia. During the forum, Gary provided formal remarks “ Global View of Key Dynamics in Policy and Commerce for Grains, Oilseeds and other Agribulks and moderated a panel discussion: “World Grain Market Long-Term Trends and Forecasts”.

Gary also participated in high level meetings with Russian Officials, completed interviews for several Russian and International media sources, and spoke at a round table about security and quality of grain in the context of global food security. A trip report for this travel will be available soon. Please contact Gary or Ryan for more information.

Recently Issued Reports

This week, NAEGA submitted the following reports to USDA FAS:
ISF Meeting

The report on the IGTC travel to the International Seed Federation’s mid-year meetings is now available. On October 16-17, 2016 NAEGA and IGTC Science Advisor Dr. Marcel Bruins traveled to Bordeaux, France to participate in the meeting and represent IGTC policy on new plant breeding innovations (PBI). In Bordeaux, Dr. Bruins worked closely with the ISF to find common ground and develop common communication plans toward securing international regulatory coherence and compatibility on PBIs.

A copy of the trip report can be found here.

IPPC ISPM Trip Report

The report on the IGTC travel to Melbourne, Australia September 15-23, 2016 for the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) Expert Working Group (EWG) on the development of an International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) for grain is now available. Science Advisor Dr. Marcel Bruins represented NAEGA and IGTC during meetings to consider a draft specification for the pending ISPM for Grain that was approved by the IPPC Standards Committee.

A copy of the trip report can be found here.

International Arbitration Seminar Trip Report

The report on the NAEGA MAP travel to the International Seminar on Arbitration is now available. NAEGA Senior Advisor Sam Bonilla traveled to Naples, Italy September 6-11 to present before and attend the 3rd Annual International Seminar on Arbitration at the Napoli Chamber of Commerce. Bonilla engaged with members of GAFTA and international contract experts and presented on “Dispute Resolution Clauses and Enforceability of Arbitral Awards in the World, Mainly in Europe and Far East.”

More information on the seminar is available in the trip report here.

Egyptian Prime Minister decrees new Agricultural Imports Procedures

On Sunday November 13, the Egyptian prime minister declared that the Egyptian General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) will now replace the quarantine authority as the administrative department responsible for inspecting strategic agricultural imports, including wheat, feed corn and soybeans. The GOEIC will have sole responsibility for inspecting wheat and other agricultural imports under its purview. While GOEIC will be responsible for all inspections of these commodities, it will continue to use plant quarantine officials by subcontracting experts from plant quarantine to do the required testing for imported cargoes at discharge. In light of these changes, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will issue a decree in the coming weeks regarding the importation process and procedures for pre-inspection, discharge inspection and re-sampling process.

Read the Ministry’s decree here. For more information, please click here.

USDA Women in Agriculture Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites all woman participating in the agricultural sector to join its Women in Agriculture Initiative (WIA)! The program consists of three initiatives: USDA WIA Employee Group, Women in Agriculture Mentorship Network, and Global Women in Agriculture. Each of these groups offers professional development opportunities for women in agriculture to support women to assume leadership roles in the U.S. both on and off the farm. The WIA website also offers resources for women farmers, agriculture leaders and young farmers on navigating the business environment and participating in USDA programs.


For more information, or to sign up for the WIA newsletter, please click here.