Last week Gary and Ryan were joined by NAEGA Washington representatives at meetings with the House, Senate and U.S. Trade Representative to discuss ongoing concerns regarding foreign material regulations on exports of soybeans to the Chinese market. NAEGA met with the House Committee on Agriculture Majority Staff on Tuesday, March 27, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Majority staff on Wednesday, March 28, and USTR’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud on Thursday, March 29. During these meetings NAEGA representatives discussed industry concerns regarding APHIS negotiations with AQSIQ and implementation of FGIS Directive 9180.85 requiring all soybean shipments to China to acknowledge foreign material content. To date, NAEGA has been cooperating with USDA by contributing to and communicating our concerns and possible solutions as part of the USDA Systems Approach on Weed Seeds. Unfortunately, APHIS has no current plans to address the “Trade Support” elements that would address China’s practices and provide for leveling the playing field for U.S. exports. As a result, in last week’s conversations, NAEGA requested action on the part of the U.S. government to:
- Support the establishment of a new protocol to provide for consistent application of more predictable and transparent Chinese soybean import requirements that are science based and consistent with the International Plant Protection Convention’s International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures Number 32. As such the protocol would eliminate the AD.
- Complete work to establish U.S. official and commercial practice as sufficient to meet China’s Administrative Measures of Inspection and Quarantine for the Entry and Exit Grain issued by the General.
- Closely examine and report on the unwritten agreement between APHIS and AQSIQ and actions taken by U.S. officials that led to the current circumstances.
Following these meetings, NAEGA is advising and working closely with House, Senate and USTR staff to address industry concerns and identify next steps.