Beginning in late December 2017 NAEGA Executive Committee and Board of Directors has been extensively engaged in consultation and coordination and has initiated several new actions and delayed or put aside some activity we have discussed previously to address Chinese policies related to grains, oilseeds and other products. In doing so, NAEGA is working to provide for marketability and competition while defending value, quality and safety of the commodities traded by its Members. Our focus has been, and continues to be, to provide for regulatory and commercial best practices within the parameters of sound science, legal compliance and international convention to provide for the least trade distortion and best environment for all stakeholders.
Regarding the recent action by USDA to institute an additional declaration conveying Foreign Material percentage for U.S. export shipments of soybeans to China on the phyto-sanitary certificate issued by its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), we continue to be concerned with the resulting and ongoing lack of understanding and predictability on how Chinese authorities will treat imports of U.S. soybeans. We believe the circumstances result in new and substantial inappropriate disadvantages to U.S. origin soybeans and risk setting bad precedence of other grains and oilseeds. NAEGA is taking a number of actions to engage directly with APHIS and other parts of U.S. government. For instance, NAEGA has been aggressively communicating our concerns and possible solutions as part of the USDA Systems Approach on Weed Seeds. Recently USDA provided more details in this effort to help educate farmers, grain handlers and exporters on weed seed management techniques. The systems approach was developed in response to U.S. efforts to reduce the presence of weed seeds in soybean shipments to China. Over the past three months, NAEGA has been working closely with the USDA as part of the U.S. Grain and Oilseed Strategic Working Group to provide input into the systems approach. The approach is outlined here and will be rolled out as an educational tool at USDA attended events throughout the country.
NAEGA is also supporting work by the National Sorghum Producers and the U.S. Grains Council, in coordination with several members, to respond to the self-initiated antidumping and countervailing duty investigation by China’s Ministry of Commerce into U.S. Sorghum exports to China.
NAEGA members interested in providing input or being engaged in this work should contact us immediately. Both matters will be the subject of NAEGA consideration at our meetings on March 19 in Scottsdale, AZ.