NAFTA Seasonal Produce Letter

On August 15, NAEGA joined 28 other food and agricultural organizations in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding the potential for a seasonal produce provision in an upcoming NAFTA deal. The provision would allow the U.S. to place seasonal tariffs on various fruits and vegetables by redefining domestic industry. In the letter, the undersigned organizations reiterated their opposition to the inclusion of the seasonal produce provision, which would not only impede trade in U.S. produce, but create the risk of retaliatory action against a broad swath of U.S. agricultural products. In particular, once established, this new rule will make it easier for Mexico and Canada to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of produce from the United States and undermine support for the agreement from producers in Canadian and Mexican markets.

Read a copy of the letter here.

USDA FAS Presentation

On Friday, August 17 Gary and Ryan presented before a group of 25 U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) locally employed staff. Locally employed staff are foreign nationals who assist FAS employees in executing their missions around the world. During the presentation, Gary and Ryan described NAEGA mission, goals and the successful cooperative relationship enjoyed between NAEGA and USDA FAS.

A copy of their presentation is available here.


OFAC Updates Sanctions List

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) recently updated its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. The SDN list is a list of individuals and companies owned, controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of targeted countries. Also included on the list are non-country-specific individuals, groups and entities such as terrorist organizations. Any person or entity included on the SDN list has their assets blocked and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging with them.

Newest additions to the list include Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed following his designation as a terrorist; Profinet, a Russian shipping agency found to be supplying bunkers to North Korean vessels at Russian ports; and the National Iranian Oil Company. A number of Iranian entities have been re-sanctioned in connection with the U.S. withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May.  

Find the latest version of the SDN list here.

Arvid Hawk retires

Senior Advisor Arvid Hawk announced his retirement from NAEGA earlier this month, marking the end of a long and distinguished career in the industry.

Arvid Hawk began his career with Cargill, Inc. as a Research Engineer. In this capacity, he conducted research in grain drying, aeration, dust control, grain dust explosions, mold testing, aflatoxin testing, sampling and grain inspection methods. During this period, he became active in liaison work with various trade associations and became interested in and familiar with The Federal Grain Inspection standards and procedures. He also became Cargill’s in-house expert on international phytosanitary rules and regulations. In 1980, he took over the position of Grain Handling Coordinator for the North American Grain Division of Cargill. His responsibilities in this job were to give technical advice to plant superintendents, managers, merchants and traders in all of the technical areas mentioned above.

Before his retirement from Cargill, he served as Chairman of NAEGA’s Grades and Inspections Committee and was awarded NAEGA’s Amstutz Award in 2006 for exhibiting exceptional accomplishments in promoting export grain and oilseed trade from the United States. Currently, Arvid is a consultant on agricultural issues for Global Agricultural Consulting, LLC.

We are extremely grateful for the many years of work and expertise Arvid has contributed to NAEGA initiatives and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Upcoming Contracts and Best Practices Seminar

With the release of the revised NAEGA 2 contract on March 30, NAEGA has conducted several educational seminars to communicate these revisions and educate on the contract and industry best practices. Our next seminar is:

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!  


APHIS Webinar on Biotechnology Regulations – September 20

APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services’ Biotechnology Quality Management Support program is hosting a free webinar on monitoring or volunteers on Thursday, September 20 from 1:00pm-3:00pm. The webinar will provide details and supporting examples on the relationship between volunteer monitoring activities and compliance with APHIS’ biotechnology regulations.

Register or find more information about the webinar here.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade will hold a meeting at 10am on Tuesday, August 30 at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Ray Starling, Chief of Staff to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will speak to dialogue members about USDA initiatives and the Trump Administration’s trade policies.

A tentative agenda and registration link will be available in the coming days.

IGTC and IGC Meetings

A trip report is now available for Gary and Katy’s mission to London for meetings with IGTC members and corporate stakeholders and to attend the IGC Grains Conference.

 In London, Gary and Katy led and executed IGTC meetings with 26 global grain trade leaders, governments and international institutions. The overarching objective was to achieve a market and regulatory environment supportive of trade that avoids disruptions in the international trade of grain, oilseeds, pulses and derived products. Specific activities to support UES objectives for GRNOS included:

  • Organization and administration of the IGTC’s Strategy Session (June 18): Contribution to the implementation of the IGTC Business Plan through the enhancement of IGTC Policy Teams, Working Groups and operations. Increased engagement of IGTC participants at national and regional level.
  • Leadership of IGTC in-person Management Council meeting (June 18)
  • Representation of grain trade interests at the International Grain Council’s (IGC) 46th Session (June 18): Support for work to implement “expanded external information exchange” with partners as per the IGTC Business Plan.
  • Organization of a grain-trade specific panel session at the IGC annual conference (June 19-20): Provision of representation and sharing of expertise on the commercial requirements and economics of the world's food, feed and processing industries as per the IGTC Business Plan.

A copy of the trip report can be found here.

Contracts and Best Practices Seminar

On Tuesday, August 14 NAEGA held a successful Contracts and Best Practices Seminar in Minneapolis, MN. Attended by over 15 participants from member companies, the seminar featured a broad review of NAEGA 2 Model Contracting terms, the recent revisions to the contract, exercises on laytime and a review of the global contracting environment.

Interesting in attending at contracts seminar or hosting a private seminar for your company? Contact Ryan.

DBTG Technical and Operational Seminar – Baltimore, MD – October 3-5 

You are welcome to join NAEGA staff for the Dry Bulk Terminals Group’s (DBTG) fall Technical and Operational seminar. This fall’s seminar will take place at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MD on October 3-5.

A preliminary schedule of events is available here.