Steel and Aluminum Exemptions

On April 30, 2018 the Trump Administration extended exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union, Mexico and Canada until June 1. In addition, the Administration announced agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia and Brazil to allow those countries to avoid tariffs for longer following the implementation of voluntary restraints on the export of steel and aluminum products to the U.S.

Iran Sanctions

The Trump Administration is poised to announce its position on staying in or withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ahead of the date for Iran sanctions renewal of waivers on May 12. If the President selects not to renew sanctions waivers by May 12 then those sanctions will come back into force against foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that engage in "significant financial transactions" with Iran's Central Bank.  The sanctions apply to FFIs that are central banks only if the financial transactions with Iran's Central Bank concern oil purchases.  Applicable sanctions include prohibiting FFIs from opening accounts in the U.S. or imposing strict limitations on their existing accounts in the U.S.  Thus, an FFI caught can be denied access to the US financial system and the ability to process USD payments.

Treated Seed Letter

This week NAEGA again reminded industry leaders about the threat of treated seeds entering commodity supply. In an open letter to the U.S. Grain and Oilseed industry, NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin emphasized the importance of preventing treated seeds from entering the commodity supply. The letter calls for continued communication with the public and utilization of industry resources to educate users on the threat of treated seeds contaminating food and feed supplies.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Letter to U.S. AMS on Delegated State: Virginia

This week NAEGA joined NGFA in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regarding its Notice of Intent to Certify the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Delegated Official Agency. The letter welcomes AMS’s new delegation process, which includes an open and transparent notice and comment period for the re-delegation of states. This type of process was a key request of NAEGA and NGFA during the reauthorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Letter to U.S. AMS on Advisory Committee

This week NAEGA joined NGFA in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service regarding the staffing of the Grain Inspection Advisory Committee. The letter expresses the continued belief that the Advisory Committee has value in providing expert advice and assistance to AMS in fulfilling its core mission of ensuring that Official inspections are performed in a reliable, consistent and uninterrupted manner to facilitate the export of U.S. grains and oilseeds to global customers. However, the letter recommends that the committee could be improved by:

  • Increasing the number of grain handling experts on the committee
  • Strengthening appointments
  • Restoring appointment of alternates to the committee
  • Enhancing the geographic and industry diversity of members
  • Promoting fresh perspectives

A copy of the letter can be found here.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC Newsletter is now available! This week’s newsletter covers IGTC actions at its bilateral meeting with the ISF in Nyon, Switzerland, a welcome to new IGTC Acting Vice-President Iliana Axiotiades of Coceral, and a call for interest in attending the COP-MOP 9 meetings in Egypt on November 10-22.

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

U.S. CFTC Funding Letter

This week NAEGA joined 14 other organizations in a letter to Congressmen Robert Aderholt and Sanford Bishop, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies regarding funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The letter requests that the Subcommittee consider the Administration’s full budget request of $281.5 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) be included in the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This funding will support to completion of several rule makings and other initiatives currently underway or planned for U.S. agriculture, including:

  • Position Limit Rule – As this very important rule moves toward final status, it is imperative that CFTC has sufficient staff and resources to get the rule right.
  • Reg AT/High-Frequency Trading – Commission oversight continues to be needed to help ensure that high-frequency trading doesn’t overwhelm or otherwise adversely impact our agricultural futures contracts.
  • Block Trading – Now that block trading has been extended to agricultural contracts, close scrutiny is merited by the Commission to preserve appropriate liquidity and transparency for agricultural futures markets.
  • Commitments of Traders Report – Enhancements to provide additional frequency and transparency are needed but will require personnel and technology resources.


A copy of the letter can be found here.