FGIS soybean, corn and canola standards

The U.S. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that it will be seeking public comment on Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) standards for corn, canola and soybeans. Request for comment on these standards will be published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2018, and comments will be due to AMS sixty days after the publication date.

NAEGA’s Grades and Inspections committee will be engaged to in response.   Please let use know if you are interested in contributing to NAEGA’s comments.

IGTC and IGC in London

Last week Gary joined IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee in London for a series meetings and events surrounding the International Grains Council’s (IGC) International Grains Conference. While in London the IGTC hosted a Strategy Session for members and corporate stakeholders and a Management Council meeting. In addition, the IGTC sponsored a (IGC) workshop on the Improvement of Trade and Investment in the Grain Trade. A trip report for this mission will be available soon. 

U.S. FGIS to change falling number calculation

Last week, NAEGA joined the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Millers Association (NAMA) in a letter to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The letter follows an AMS request for feedback regarding improvements to the Falling Number (FN) test for wheat.

FGIS will be adopting a mathematical correction to its FN test designed to provide an indication of the amount of sprout damage that has occurred within a specific wheat sample.

In the letter, NAEGA, NGFA, and NAMA support further review and testing of the proposed change and its eventual implementation in 2019 in order to avoid any disruptions in crop marketing.

The full letter can be found here.

White House Report on Chinese Economic Aggression

On Tuesday, June 19 the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy released a report on How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World. The report highlights a number of acts, policies and practices that Chinese industrial policy uses to acquire intellectual property and key technologies. In particular, the report focuses on policies related to China’s Made in China 2025 initiative, and further builds on the Trump Administration’s focus on Chinese economic and trade policies.


A copy of the report can be found here.

Maritime Regulations

The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is seeking public input on how the Federal government may prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector. OIRA seeks public comment on how existing agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions. This RFI is meant to inform agencies’ development of regulatory reform proposals.

Comments should be submitted via by July 16, 2018.

NAEGA members interested in contributing to these comments should contact Ryan.

US State Department Foreign Service Institute Presentation

On July 26 Gary will address a class of U.S. foreign service personnel enrolled in a Biotechnology and Global Challenges course.  U.S. State Department economic officers and USDA FAS staff are included in the training class meant to bring officers up to speed on biotechnology issues. A further agenda and Gary’s presentation will be available soon.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! This edition covers IGTC’s recent Strategy Session in London, the IGTC-led workshop at the International Grains Council’s annual conference, and a call for IGTC members and corporate stakeholders to encourage their governments to become more involved with the ePhyto Hub.

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

Additional Tariffs against China

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comment on the announcement of new tariffs on Chinese goods related to its Section 301 investigation into Chinese intellectual property practices. According to the Section 301 investigation, USTR has determined that the acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and detrimentally affect U.S. commerce. As a result, the President has ordered the implementation of a 25 percent tariff on an initial $34 billion of certain products from China on July 6, 2018. The proposed products to be targeted by this additional tariff can be found here.

Following the initial implementation of tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese production, the USTR is seeking comments from U.S. stakeholders on a further $16 billion of products to be implemented at a future date. A list of these products can be found here. Public comments regarding this proposed additional action are welcome and will be received according to the following schedule:

June 29, 2018: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing and for filing pre-hearing submissions.

July 23, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments.

July 24, 2018: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

July 31, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.

Comments should be submitted via by July 23, 2018.

NAEGA members interested in contributing to these comments should contact Gary or Ryan.


USAEDC Attaché Seminar

The U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council will hold its annual Attaché Seminar on July 11-13 in Arlington, Virginia. This year’s seminar includes a number of speakers providing information regarding updates in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), upcoming plans for the Office of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, as well as several regionally-based breakout sessions led by various FAS attachés. A draft of the agenda can be found here.

Japan Corn Quality

NAEGA member personnel are invited to join Gary and Ryan on July 23 at the U.S. Grains Council for a meeting with the Japanese Feed Manufacturers Association (JFMA), the Japanese Feed Trade Association (JFTA) and Japanese industry representatives. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss U.S. corn quality in the Japanese market. A final agenda and meeting time will be distributed soon.