New China Tariffs

On Tuesday August 6, the U.S. Trade Representative announced a finalized list of $16 billion worth of Chinese products that will be affected by the latest set of 25 percent tariffs, beginning August 23. The final list of goods can be found here, and includes a range of chemical and industrial goods such as semiconductor products, chemicals, batteries and plastics. Several consumer items like television remote controls, guitar pedals and selfie sticks also made the list.

China’s Ministry of Commerce recently announced that it will match these tariffs with 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of American goods. In it’s latest set of tariffs, China is targeting goods ranging from steel products and crude oil to medical equipment and autos.

Biotech Safety Certificates – Web Portal changes hands

Last week, Bayer announced that it will be transitioning its Trade Certificate Web Portal (TCWP) to BASF as part of the ongoing merger. Currently the only Safety Certificates available are for the People's Republic of China. Users should expect the TCWP transition to be completed by August 1, 2018. At that time, the URL for the TCWP will change, but all username and password information will stay the same.

TWIC Reader Implementation Delayed

On August 2, President Trump signed the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Accountability Act of 2018 into law. The TWIC Accountability Act prohibits the Coast Guard from implementing the TWIC “reader rule”, which would require high-risk ports to install biometric readers for employees with Transportation Worker Identification Credentials. Currently, the implementation of the rule will remain delayed until after the Department of Homeland Security has submitted an assessment of the TWIC program to Congress confirming the effectiveness of the credentialing requirements for enhancing security.

USDA Trade Mission to South Korea – November 5-8

Interested in expanding your business in the United States’ sixth-largest agricultural export market? Join the USDA on a trade mission to Seoul this November to participate in personalized business-to-business meetings arranged by local staff from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, learn the cultural and regulatory expectations of the Korean market as well as consumer tastes, and build relationships through site visits and briefings.

The application can be found here and should be submitted to by August 13, 2018.

U.S. Corn – Peru CVD Investigation

NAEGA continues to gather and covey information to interested members regarding Peru’s recent self-initiation of a countervailing duty case against U.S. origin yellow corn. On July 24 Peru initiated an investigation into U.S. yellow corn imports under the WTO Subsidy and Countervailing Measures agreement and Peruvian law. Currently, the U.S. Trade Representative, along with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), International Trade Commission (ITC) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) are coordinating a joint U.S. government (USG) response. NAEGA is closely coordinating with this USTR led team.

According to the USDA’s March 2018 Peru Grain and Feed Annual, the CVD case was initiated as a result of protests by domestic producers regarding low domestic corn prices:

“In February-March 2018, Peruvian corn producers protested low market prices for corn. They argued that imported corn is undercutting local corn prices, and are demanding that the government purchase local corn at above the market prices. The protesters were trying to repeat similar negotiations by potato producers in early 2018. These protests reveal the challenges that the government faces in adequately addressing social and production issues faced by smallholder farmers.”

USTR is anticipating that the current legal process will follow the below schedule:

On August 6, U.S. government and industry received the following questionnaires regarding Peru’s investigation into U.S. subsidy programs.

Both questionnaires are due in Spanish on September 12.

NAEGA is currently coordinating a Special Interest Group (SIG) of exporters in order to facilitate a coordinated industry response. If you are interested in joining the SIG, please contact Gary and Ryan.


Khapra Beetle Comments

The NAEGA Grades and Inspections Committee is considering a response to the North American Plant Protection Organization, which is seeking public comment on developing a harmonized North American approach to preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of khapra beetle in various pathways.

Final comments are due to NAPPO on September 30, 2018.