U.S. launches five disputes at WTO over retaliatory tariffs

On Monday, July 16 the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) launched five separate disputes at the World Trade Organization against Canada, China, the European Union, Mexico and Turkey to challenge the retaliatory tariffs each country imposed on U.S. exports in response to President Trump’s recent actions regarding aluminum and steel.  

The United States’ steel and aluminum tariffs were imposed after the Secretary of Commerce reported that imports of these products threaten to harm U.S. national security. According to the United States Trade Representative, these tariffs are justified under several international agreements. However, the tariffs that the aforementioned countries imposed on U.S. exports in retaliation are not in compliance with international rules or WTO member commitments.  

Read more about the initiation of the disputes here.

Proposed additional U.S, import tariffs on imports from China – $200 billion of goods at 10 percent

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. In response to China retaliatory tariffs responding to the U.S. government’s implementation of an initial tranche of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion, the U.S. Trade Representative is seeking comments on an additional 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The list of products to be affected can be found here. Public comments regarding this proposed additional action are welcome and will be received according to the following schedule:  

August 13, 2018: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing submissions.   

August 17, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments.   

August 20–23, 2018: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission.   

September 5, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.  

Comments should be submitted via by August 17, 2018.   

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

Proposed additional U.S. Tariffs on imports from China – $16 billion of goods at 25 percent

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 input on the proposed additional action will be accepted as follows:  

July 23, 2018: written comments submitted via 

July 24, 2018: Public hearing in at the  U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

July 31, 2018: Submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments via 

NAEGA members interested in contributing to these comments are welcome to consult with Gary or Ryan .  

International Maritime Organization CCC5 – September 10-15 – London, UK

On September 10-15 Ryan will travel to London, United Kingdom to attend the fifth meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-committee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) as a member of the International Bulk Terminals Association (IBTA) delegation. Over the past few years NAEGA has worked closely with the IBTA to monitor developments at the CCC and weigh in on the CCC’s regulatory initiatives as they impact the bulk grain trade. During this meeting of the CCC, NAEGA and the IBTA will be following changes to the classifications of Distillers Dry Grains and Solubles to ensure that they are trade facilitating. NAEGA will also be monitoring the actions by member states to ensure that past efforts to re-open regulations under the International Grain Code are not revisited. A notice to post for this upcoming travel will be available soon.  

USAEDC Attaché Seminar

Last week, Gary, Ryan and Brigid attended the United States Agricultural Export Development Council’s (USAEDC) Attaché Seminar in Arlington, Virginia. During the seminar, NAEGA held consultations with Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) attachés from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, South Korea, and Ukraine to discuss NAEGA and IGTC policy files as well as enquire about country-specific agricultural issues. In addition to these one-on-one meetings, NAEGA staff also heard from USAEDC speakers including Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, to provide updates and insight into the current status and future of U.S. agricultural trade.  

For more information about NAEGA’s involvement at the USAEDC Attaché Seminar, contact Gary or Ryan. 

IGTC Trip Report – Arlington, VA

A trip report is now available for IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee’s travels to Arlington, VA and Washington, D.C. in May 2018. During her travels, Katy briefed grain trade stakeholders and embassy officials about IGTC policy files and met with World Bank representatives to discuss IGTC contributions to their Enabling the Business of Agriculture project. She also participated in NAEGA’s Production Technology Committee meeting as well as an International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) event dedicated to agricultural policy in Brazil.  


A copy of Katy’s trip report can be found here 

NAEGA/NGFA Statement to APHIS on GE Cotton

On Monday, July 9, NAEGA and NGFA submitted a joint statement to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding Bayer CropScience LP’s petition for the deregulation of its genetically engineered cotton, Event GHB811.  

According to the letter, NAEGA and NGFA do not object to GHB811 being granted non-regulated status under APHIS’s Part 340 regulations. NAEGA and NGFA commend Bayer efforts to conduct its due diligence regarding risk assessment, management, and responsibility as a biotechnology provider, including securing export market approvals prior to commercializing new biotechnology traits. NAEGA and NGFA believe this to be a pragmatic approach in the facilitation of global trade, and that APHIS should maintain the non-regulated status of Bayer's GE cotton. 

Read the full letter here 

HWY H2O Conference – Toronto, Canada – November 13-15

NAEGA members are invited to attend the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Authority’s HWY H2O Conference in Toronto, Canada. HWY H2O is a convergence of industry thought leaders and experienced marine specialists in maritime commerce and shipping focused on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. This year’s conference will focus on technology and innovation as a key component in developing new opportunities, streamlining costs and remaining a competitive logistic system.  

Register or find more information about the conference here.   

NAEGA Contracts and Best Practices Seminars

Please “save the date” for NAEGA’s next Contract and Best Practice Seminars. With the release of the revised NAEGA 2 contract on March 30, NAEGA is planning for educational seminars to communicate these revisions and educate on the contract and industry best practices. This year, we are planning two educational seminars in: 

  • Minneapolis, MN: August 14 – Register here 
  • New Orleans, LA: Week of October 8 

Final dates and times will be announced when they become available.  

NAEGA seminars are an intensive and informative review of commercial and official practices taught in an interactive environment. The goal of each seminar is to improve predictability, reduce risks, resolve trade barriers and facilitate profitable trade. A general agenda includes:  

  • Open dialogue on current contracting practices as they relate to trade risks. 
  • A “Road Map” of the NAEGA II Model Contract 
  • Review of the 2018 revisions to the NAEGA II Model Contract.
  • Perspectives on the global contracting environment in GAFTA, FOSFA and other contract models and practices. 
  • Case study exercises on: 
    • Calculating laytime, dispatch and demurrage. 
    • Contract terms. 
    • Arbitration and other alternatives for dispute resolution.  

In addition to the public seminars listed above, NAEGA also conducts company specific private seminars.  Please contact Ryan if you are interested in hosting a private, tailored seminar at your office. Click here for more information on the in-depth, interactive programs NAEGA conducts! 

Barge Trade Digitization Project

A task force of member company representatives involved in Mississippi River barge trade is examining approaches to undertake for a new digital data exchange system. The task force is seeking input from other industry participants on the core requirements of a new system and any other feedback they should consider. Broad adoption by the industry is critical to achieving the maximum potential cost savings associated with the new system.     

All inquiries and feedback are welcome.  Please contact Julie Detlefsen ( or Charlie Delacruz ( with any questions or comments.