Decree 177 Trip Report

A trip report is now available for Gary’s second mission to China in April to address U.S. industry compliance with Decree 177. During this mission NAEGA supported U.S. government meetings with AQSIQ regarding Decree 177. NAEGA is working as part of a U.S. government led Decree 177 Working Group to develop an integrated U.S. industry and government response to compliance with Decree 177. During the mission, NAEGA supported high level USDA FAS meetings between the U.S. and Chinese governments to address efforts so far regarding facility registration. While in China Gary also met and established an understanding with The China Group Companies Association (CGCA, to provide for joint work to improve utilization of information systems to facilitate trade and regulatory compliance. 

A copy of the trip report is available here.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Monday, June 26 the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade held a meeting to discuss ongoing trade developments, including U.S. government trade policy objectives, NAFTA negotiations and developments in the Asia-Pacific region. During the meeting participants were briefed by Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen, Assistant USTR for Agriculture and Commodity Policy, Ken Smith Ramos, Director of the Trade and the NAFTA Office at the Embassy of Mexico and Tien Le, Commercial Officer at the Embassy of Vietnam.

For more information on the meeting please contact Gary or Ryan.

Syngenta to Pay Millions to Kansas Farmers

A Kansas jury has ordered Syngenta AG to pay $217.7 million to a group of Kansas farmers in a suit related to the marketing of genetically modified corn seed which caused contamination of U.S. crops and the suspension of U.S. corn exports to China. The jury agreed that the marketing of the GMO strain not yet approved for the Chinese market caused five years of depressed corn prices and issued the fine to cover lost sales plus punitive damages.

More information can be found here.

Letter of Support for Gregg Doud

This week the NAEGA joined a letter from the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade supporting the swift confirmation of Gregg Doud as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Last week, President Trump nominated Gregg Doud to become Chief Agriculture Negotiator, with the rank of ambassador, at USTR. The letter commends Mr. Doud for his experience working in U.S. agriculture and looks forward to working with him to lead trade negotiations on behalf of the U.S. food and agriculture industry.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Mexican Government NAFTA Consultations

The Mexican Government is seeking industry, academic and citizen comments on trade priorities in a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Comments can be made on the Ministry of Economy website here. If you are interested in commenting on priorities for NAFTA, please contact Ryan or Gary. Comments are due July 27.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! This week’s newsletter includes a briefing on IGTC activities at the Global Low Level Presence Initiative (GLI), a report on MRL setting in the EU, and an update on IGTC events in Washington, D.C. this week, including the IPPC’s ePhyto IAG meeting and outreach to DC based embassies.

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

NAEGA-NGFA Testimony on NAFTA Negotiations

On Tuesday, June 27, Randy Gordon, President of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) testified on behalf of NAEGA and NGFA on NAFTA negotiations before an inter-agency panel led by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. During his testimony, Randy laid out NAEGA and NGFA’s joint positions on renegotiating NAFTA as submitted in their joint comments on June 12. NAEGA and NGFA continue to support the preservation of all current trade preferences with Canada and Mexico, as well as modernization provisions that include a rapid response mechanism (RRM), enhanced commitments to science based regulations, and outcome based regulatory cooperation measures.

A copy of Randy’s testimony can be found here.

IGTC Meetings in Geneva

Gary is back from Geneva where, last week as President of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC), he traveled to update corporate stakeholders and partners on the progress and activities of the coalition. A key point of discussion was the implementation of the Business Plan and outreach with new and existing members around the world. Regarding international policy work and the impact on the grain trade, the Geneva visit was particularly timely given current developments at global level, including:

  • The digitization of trading documentation: milestone meetings are taking place on June 28-29 in Arlington and Washington D.C, when IGTC and representatives of other global trade flows including vegetables, seeds, cotton, will come together as the Advisory Group of the ePhyto Hub. 14 government representatives are expected to attend a briefing on the topic at the Canadian Embassy on 28th June.
  • IPPC International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) for grain: The IPPC Standards Committee has launched a closed-door forum in order to allow its 25 members to share views on the draft ISPM for grain.
  • The endorsement of the Global Low-Level Presence Initiative (GLI) of a new “practical approaches” statement.
  • The IGTC’s position on MRLs was approved by Management Council on 6th June and is intended to be used as a reference point for global advocacy efforts for grain trade representatives.

A trip report for this travel will be available soon.

U.S. FDA Genome Editing Techniques Comments

On Monday, June 19 NAEGA joined the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), and the North American Millers Association (NAMA) in comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of genome-editing techniques to produce new plant varieties intended for use in human and/or animal foods.

The comments urge the FDA to require premarket notification of the agency by plant breeders and others intending to develop and commercialize plant gene-editing techniques – regardless of the technique used. In addition, any future determinations regarding the level of safety consultation and risk assessment for a given biotech-enhanced trait should be based upon the characteristics of the resulting product, rather than on the technique used to develop the plant. Premarket notification should not necessarily trigger a full-fledged FDA safety review or risk assessment.

The comments also stressed the need for enhanced consultations with safety regulatory agencies in other countries, particularly main export markets. Such consultations improve the marketability of U.S. crops and help prevent trade disruptions due to the asynchronicity of domestic regulations.

A copy of the comments can be found here

USDA FAS 2018 UES Application

On Monday, June 19 NAEGA officially submitted its 2017 Unified Export Strategy (UES) to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The UES sets the framework under which NAEGA will administer its Market Access Program funding in the 2018 program year. The 2018 UES highlights many past successes and planned initiatives NAEGA intends to engage in over the next year, including efforts to promote the electronic exchange of commercial and official trade documents and efforts to address market access barriers during negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A copy of the 2018 UES can be seen here. For more information, please contact Ryan.