Draft Vietnam Fumigation Requirements

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has released draft fumigation requirements for U.S. exports of DDG, corn and wheat in containers. The documents provide guidance for industry on container fumigations, and a checklist for official inspectors to be used during the export phytosanitary inspection of containerized DDG, corn and wheat.  The documents incorporate comments received from industry over the past few weeks. NAEGA is asking all members to consider these drafts and submit comments or revisions as soon as possible.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade held a successful meeting on Friday, August 25. During the meeting, Gary Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics gave an update on his perspective on the NAFTA negotiations and the prospects for the Administration’s trade policy. In addition, Dialogue members heard an update on NAFTA from Chief U.S. Negotiator Robert Melle and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen.

Please contact Gary or Ryan if you would like to know more about the Dialogue discussions.  

WTO Releases World Trade Statistical Review

The World Trade Organization has released its annual World Trade Statistical Review covering the latest trade policy developments and trade barriers. The review highlights the success of agriculture as a driver of global trade. Since 2006, exports of agricultural goods have lead mining, energy and manufactured goods as the fastest growing product grouping. However, overall merchandise trade continues to decline for the second straight year, reaching levels not seen since 2008. A copy of the World Trade Statistical Review can be found here.

NAFTA Chapter 19 Letter

On Wednesday, August 30 NAEGA joined a letter to USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn regarding Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The letter recognizes the benefits of Chapter 19 of the agreement, which allows U.S. companies to hold the Canadian and Mexican government accountable for unjustified AD/CVD duties. Without Chapter 19, U.S. companies would be forced to contest AD and CVD determinations in lengthy and potentially unreliable Canadian and Mexican court proceedings. The letter confirms that the success of the NAFTA agreement for U.S. food and agriculture partly lies on the agreements dispute settlement mechanisms.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Regional and Seasonal AD/CVD Letter

On Wednesday, August 30 NAEGA joined a letter to USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn regarding proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that would change trade remedy law by re-defining domestic industry on a seasonal/regional basis, making it easier for all three nations to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of many types of produce. The letter calls on the Administration to withhold from introducing any provisions that would encourage trading partners to raise tariffs by using regional and seasonal effects as a justification.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

New NAEGA Directory

A new membership directory is now available for NAEGA members. The new directory can be found here, or on the NAEGA members only webpage. NAEGA Member Directories include a comprehensive list of NAEGA’s Board, leadership and membership and committee participation. Please review the directory and let us know if you have any changes.

CSG West Meeting

On Friday, August 22 NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin presented remotely before the Council of State Government’s West (CSG West) Annual meeting. CSG West is a non-profit organization that facilitates regional cooperation, exchange of information and fosters the strengthening of legislative institutions among its 13 member states in the Western United States and Pacific Island territories. During his presentation before the Agriculture and Water Committee, Gary highlighted the latest from the NAFTA negotiations, previewed NAEGA policy positions on international trade and updated participants on U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade activities.

A copy of Gary’s presentation can be found here.

USTR Initiates Section 301 Investigation

On August 14 President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. Trade Representative, through an executive order, to determine whether to initiate a Section 301 investigation against China for policies that harm American intellectual property rights, innovation or technology development. On Friday, August 18 USTR initiated the investigation. Section 301 investigations give the President the authority to investigate whether the policies of trade partners are unreasonable or discriminatory and, if they are, to impose restrictions on the import of Chinese goods and services. A Section 301 investigation must be completed within one year.

IMO CCC – London, UK – September 11-15

On September 11-15 Katy Lee, Secretariat of the IGTC, will travel to London, UK to participate in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Subcommittee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC). In London, Katy will be working closely with the International Dry Bulk Terminals Association, to monitor and respond to developments impacting the global grain and oilseed trade. A notice to post for this travel will be available shortly.

A copy of the IMO CCC agenda can be found here.

NAFTA negotiations begin

On Wednesday, August 16 the first round of negotations for the North American Free Trade Agreement begin at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. Negotiations opened with briefs statements by Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative, Crystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Canadian Chief Negotiator, and Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of Economy and Chief Negotiator. The first negotiating round is expected to conclude on August 16 and negotiations are expected to continue through at least the early part of 2018.