U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Friday, May 11 NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin co-chaired a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade at the American Farm Bureau Federation. During the meeting, the Dialogue welcomed Ambassador Gregg Doud, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, to discuss the Administration’s positions on trade and its efforts to expand U.S. market access for agriculture goods. The Dialogue also heard updates from the chairs of the Asia-Pacific and North American Market Working Groups.

IGTC Meetings in Washington, D.C.

This week Katy Lee, Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) held a series of successful meeting with stakeholders and grain trade leaders in the Washington, D.C. area. These meetings included:

  • Monday, May 14: Briefing for the NAEGA Production Technology Committee on IGTC policy files and recent IGTC bilateral meetings with the International Seed Federation in Nyon, Switzerland.
  • Wednesday, May 16: Presentation on IGTC policy files on a webinar hosted by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; and briefings with Washington based embassy representatives, including meetings with the Embassies of Japan and Brazil.
  • Thursday, May 17: Meetings with USDA staff to update on IGTC policy files and initiatives and to pursue IGTC actions for common interest with USDA objectives; a briefing of the Value Added Coalition to discuss new plant breeding innovations and IGTC discussions with the ISF; and a briefing for Washington, D.C. based grain trade stakeholders to discuss IGTC policy files and initiatives.
  • Friday, May 18: A meeting with the Embassy of Spain to discuss opportunities for the grain trade in West Africa and on the Canary Islands.


A trip report for this travel will be available soon.  

St. Lawrence Seaway Development Authority Presentation

On Wednesday, May 16 NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin, Director of Operations Ryan Olson and IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee were the keynote presenters on a webinar hosted by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. During the presentation NAEGA and IGTC discussed both organization’s missions, IGTC policy files, grain practices on the Great Lakes including Western Inspection, and U.S. trade policy developments. A copy of the NAEGA/IGTC presentation can be found here.

China Terminates ADCVD Sorghum Investigation

Today, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced its decision to terminate the ongoing AD/CVD investigation against U.S. sorghum producers. In the announcement, MOFCOM cited the additional expense that tariffs will have on downstream users of sorghum as a feed grain, including aquaculture and swine. As a result, these measures were deemed as not in the public interests and ordered to be terminated immediately.

The announcement of the termination of the sorghum AD/CVD case comes as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington, D.C. for discussions with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer on the broader U.S.-China trade relationship. These discussions are taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing U.S. Section 301 investigation, which could result in a 24 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump Withdraws from Iran Nuclear Deal

On May 8 the Trump Administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal), citing the ineffectiveness of the deal to curb Iran’s aggressive behavior. As a result, Iran sanctions suspended under the agreement snapped immediately back into effect, meaning any new contracts and financial deals are banned. Over the next few weeks, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFCAC) expects to revoke, or amend, as appropriate, general and specific licenses issued in connection with the JCPOA.  At that time, OFAC will issue new authorizations to allow the wind down of transactions and activities that were authorized pursuant to the revoked or amended general and specific licenses.

More information can be found here.

China announces intention to increase purchases of U.S. products

On Saturday, May 19 the Chinese government announced its intention to purchase more U.S. goods as part of ongoing discussion with the United States on reducing China’s bilateral trade surplus. In a statement released by U.S. and Chinese negotiating team, which included Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, and United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and Chinese State Council Vice Premier Liu He, China agreed to “significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services…[to] help support growth and employment in the United States.” The statement added that “there was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China.” A copy of the joint press release can be found here.