IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC Newsletter is now available! The newsletter includes information about the IGTC’s involvement at a gene editing workshop in Beijing, the Joint Statement signed by government ministers at WTO MC11, and Dr. Marcel Bruins’ departure from IGTC.

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

FGIS Reduces Weighing and Tonnage Fees

Effective January 1, 2018, FGIS has reduced inspection and weighing service fees by five percent. Due to the continuation of high grain exports, FGIS’ operating reserve exceeds 4 ½ months of operating expenses. FGIS also reviewed tonnage fees and the tonnage fees were adjusted to reflect fiscal year 2017 costs and a five-year average of export tons. The NGFA and NAEGA have continually urged the FGIS to bring its field office expenses, and resultant fees, in line with those of official agencies that provide inspection and weighing services. You can read the revised billing codes for official services performed by FGIS and the fee schedule for official inspection and weighing services here.

Soybean and Corn Traits Authorized in EU

On December 22, 2017 the European Commission authorized six new genetically modified traits, all for food/feed uses. These traits are: Soybean 305423 x 40-3-2, Soybean DAS-44406-6, Soybean FG72 x A5547-127, Soybean DAS-68416-4, Oilseed rape MON88302 x Ms8 x Rf3, and the renewal of Maize 1507.The authorization decisions do not cover cultivation and they are valid for 10 years. Learn more about the authorizations here.

CMC State of the Industry and IGTC Stakeholder Meetings – Miami – January 28-30

On January 28-30 IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee will travel to Miami, FL to attend the Commodity Markets Council’s State of the Industry 2018 conference and host the NAEGA Board of Directors at a IGTC Breakfast on January 30. Katy will also attend the NAEGA Board of Directors meeting and brief NAEGA Board Members on IGTC policies and activities.

IPPC Global Symposium on e-Phyto – Kuala Lumpur – January 21-26

On January 21-26 IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee will travel to Kala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on e-Phyto. The Symposium is titled “e-Phyto and Trade Facilitation” and will be attended by representatives of global bodies such as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Katy is scheduled to speak on behalf of IGTC for 30 minutes. In addition to the Symposium, Katy will be provided information by governments regarding national and regional priorities with a focus on Sri Lanka, Samoa, Ghana, New Zealand, Netherlands, Kenya, Malaysia and Japan.

A notice to post will be available soon.

Letter from Saskatchewan Minister of Ag

On January 3, 2018 NAEGA received a letter from Lyle Stewart, Minister of Agriculture for Saskatchewan to thank him for attending the 2017 Tri-National Agricultural Accord and supporting NAFTA modernization efforts. The letter also provided a requested update on new Canada rail legislation.

You can read the letter from Minister Stewart here.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 Gary and Ryan participated in a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade at King and Spalding in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, Dialogue participants received a briefing on U.S. trade policy development, including NAFTA and KORUS, from Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen, Assistant USTR, and other USTR staff.

Please contact Ryan if you have any questions.

IGTC General Assembly Trip Report

A trip report is now available for Katy’s travel to Arlington, VA to lead and participate in the IGTC General Assembly and related outreach events. In Arlington, Katy executed all IGTC activities and events, including a General Assembly Meeting which saw the addition of a new member association, the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA); outreach meetings with Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), the Canadian Embassy and the World Bank; an IGTC Management Council breakfast; and meetings with NAEGA membership, IGTC Management Council members, corporate stakeholders, and international partners.

A copy of the trip report can be read here.

DBTG and AAPA Trip Report

A trip report is now available for Ryan’s travel to Punta del Este, Uruguay. In Punta del Este, Ryan participated in the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Latin America Ports Congress and the Dry Bulk Terminal Group’s (DBTG) Fall Operational and Technical Meeting. While attending these meetings Ryan worked to improve the commercial and official environment for GRNOS logistics and gathered information assessing competitor origin positioning. Ryan also participated in the DBTG’s Executive Committee meeting, on which he sits as an advisor.

A copy of the trip report can be read here.

Trade Agreement Update


The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations will take place in Montreal from January 23-28. Ahead of this round, there seems to be increasing optimism that all three parties will come to the table ready to resolve outstanding issues. Investor-state dispute settlement, supply management in dairy, sunset provisions, and Chapter 19 continue to be persistent issues in negotiations. Negotiators have expressed that they would like to conclude negotiations by the end of March in order to provide ample time ahead of Mexico’s presidential election in July.


The United States and South Korea formally began to renegotiate KORUS this week on January 5 with meetings in Washington, DC. During the discussions industrial issues remained central, including talk of automotive tariffs, rules of origin, and non-tariff issues regarding the transportation sector in Korea, including safety standards affecting U.S. market access for cars and trucks. The Trump administration is pursuing discussions outside the normal trade promotion authority process through a mechanism in KORUS called a special Joint Committee meeting.