U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Thursday, May 11 NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin and Director of Operations Ryan Olson participated in a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade and a meeting of the Dialogue’s High-Level Steering Group. NAEGA, Co-Chairs the Dialogue, its High-Level Steering Group and its  Implementing Team. An organization chart for the Dialogue can be found here.

The May 11 off the record and closed door meeting of the Dialogue High-Level Steering Group to discuss Dialogue communications and structure, including targeted education on the benefits of trade to the food and agribusiness sector.

Following the meeting, of the High-Level Steering Group, broader dialogue participants heard remarks from representatives of the Chinese and New Zealand Embassies, the U.S. Trade Representative and the Asia Society Policy Institute. Topics discussed included the U.S.-China 100 Day Plan, the future of trade in the Asia-Pacific, and potential NAFTA renegotiations.

G-7 Statement on Trade

The G-7 nation finance ministers released a statement on global trade following a ministerial meeting in Sicily.  The statement included tempered commitment to international trade after the U.S. Treasury pushed back on more substantive discussions of free trade during the meeting. A copy of the statement can be found here.

Treated Seed Letter

This week NAEGA again reminded industry leaders about the threat of treated seeds entering commodity supply. In an open letter to the U.S. Grain and Oilseed industry, NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin emphasized the importance of preventing treated seeds from entering the commodity supply. The letter calls for continued communication with the public and utilization of industry resources to educate users on the threat of treated seeds contaminating food and feed supplies.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Department of Commerce 10-Point Plan with China

Last week the Department of Commerce released the “100-Day Action Plan of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue” agreed to by Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. The ten actions include:

  1. Chinese Beef Imports;
  2. Biotechnology;
  3. Poultry
  4. Liquid Natural Gas trade;
  5. Investment;
  6. Cross-border exchange and currency clearing;
  7. Electronic payment settlement;
  8. Financial regulations;
  9. Underwriting and settlement for financial institutions;
  10. Engagement on One Belt One Road Initiative.

The full 100-Day Action Plan can be accessed here.

APHIS Meetings and Comments on Part 340

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced three public comment meetings on proposed revisions to 7 CFR Part 340 regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms. Meetings will take place at the following locations: 

  • June 6 – Kansas City, MO APHIS Center for Animal Welfare
  • June 13 – Davis, CA University of California Davis Conference Center
  • June 16 – Riverdale, MD USDA Center at Riverside

You can register to attend any of the above meetings by clicking here.

The announcement also included a call for industry stakeholders to submit public comments ahead of the meetings. To submit a public comment, click here. The deadline for public comment is June 19. More information on the proposed rule, direct contact information, and in-depth supplementary information can be found here. Additionally, related information and official documents are available online in the Docket Folder here.

High Level Dialogue for Integration in the Asia-Pacific

NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin reported on the High-Level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific Region on March 12-17. In Chile, Gary represented NAEGA in the dialogue hosted by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, continuing NAEGA’s leadership role in the industry on the future of trade in the Asia-Pacific region.


Gary’s trip report can be accessed here. You can read the Joint Statement by TPP Partners here.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! This week’s newsletter includes upcoming events on plant breeding innovation, risks in the food and production supply chain, and the Global Low Level Presence Initiative (GLI). This week’s communication also includes IGTC Policy Team member Ricardo Calderon’s report on the Mexican Seeds Association (AMSAC) PBI seminar last month. Read the newsletter to learn about the new CBD study on digital sequencing of genomes and to take advantage of the IGTC discount when you book tickets for the annual GAFTA dinner coming up in June.


For more details, read the IGTC Newsletter here or visit the IGTC website at

ISF and IGC Meetings

Gary Martin, President and CEO of NAEGA and the IGTC, Marcel Bruins, NAEGA/IGTC Science Advisor and Katy Lee, IGTC Secretariat have reported on recent travel to Zurich, Switzerland and London, UK on March 5-7 for meeting with the International Grains Council (IGC) and the International Seed Federation (ISF). Gary, Marcel, and Katy participated in the International Seed Federation (ISF) Plant Breeding Innovation Working Group meeting in Zurich before Gary and Katy flew to London for a day of meetings with the IGC and GAFTA. Both ISF and the IGC prioritized Gary’s visit in their respective meeting agendas.


The trip report for this mission is now available.

ISF World Seed Congress

IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee will travel to Budapest, Hungary on May 21-22 to attend the International Seed Federations (ISF) World Seed Congress. During the Congress Katy will participate in the ISF’s Plant Breeding Innovation Working Group meeting on May 21 and the Breeders Committee open meeting on May 22. A copy of the World Seed Congress’s program can be found here.

Rationalizing Grain and Oilseed Trade Across the US-Canada Border Report

A report on existing Canadian grain-related policies regarding management of small grains and oilseeds by the Canadian Government has been made public. The report discusses government policies affect on Canadian marine grain exports. Policies examined include wheat grades, Canadian grain rail policies, government ownership of grain rail cars, and asynchronous phytosanitary agreements.


A copy of the report can be viewed here.