NGFA-NAEGA Joint Statement on U.S. Trade following Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing

On September 19, NAEGA and NGFA submitted a joint statement to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee as a follow up to the Committee’s September 13 hearing concerning perspectives on U.S. agricultural trade. The statement provided information on the performance of U.S. trade with respect to the grain, feed, grain and oilseed processing, and export sectors. The statement goes into detail about agricultural trade with current trade agreement partners, the European Union, Japan, and China, and warns of the harm that lost market share can inflict on U.S. exporters.

Read the full statement here.

NAEGA Contracts Committee

The NAEGA Contracts Committee met on Thursday, September 20. Committee members discussed the status of the new NAEGA 2 contract’s adoption, was provided an update on Subcommittee action regarding differing interpretations of Addendum 1, Clause 6b, and also informed the Committee of an upcoming training on the rules of arbitration conducted by the American Arbitration Association, designed with NAEGA Special Grain Arbitrators in mind.

U.S. Food & Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Thursday, September 20 Gary Martin chaired a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Dialogue guests Roger Wentzel, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Jeffrey Jones, Senior Policy Advisor at the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provided off the record comments on the status of trade agreement talks with various nations, particularly potential free trade agreements with the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines.). Following a robust session with the guests,  Asia-Pacific and North American Market Working Group chairs provided updates and plans for Dialogue meetings on October 18 and November 20 were preliminarily set.  

U.S. Imposes $200 Billion in Tariffs on China; China Retaliates

On Monday, September 24 the Trump Administration began implementing tariffs on a list of products announced on September 17. This latest set of tariffs are set at 10 percent on $200 billion worth of imports from China. These tariffs come on top of the $50 billion worth of tariffs already imposed earlier this year, meaning nearly half of all Chinese imports into the United States will soon face levies. The tariffs will remain at 10 percent until the end of the year, and if China does not make adequate concessions, these new tariffs will then increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a list of the wide range of products that will be affected.

In response, the Chinese government announced retaliatory tariffs of 5 to 10 percent on $60 billion of imports from the United States. Items effected range from meat to wheat to aircraft and took effect on September 24.

U.S., Japan to Begin Trade Negotiations

On Wednesday, September 26 U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement announcing that the United States and Japan will enter into trade negotiations for a United States-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement will encompass goods as well as services, and both countries are also willing to discuss other trade and investment issues.

In the statement, the United States and Japan emphasized that this agreement will respect the positions of both governments on sensitive trade topics, including automobiles and agriculture.

Read the full statement here.

U.S., Korea Sign Revised Trade Agreement

On Monday, September 24 U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae- issued a joint statement regarding the conclusion of the negotiations to revise KORUS, the Korea-United States free trade agreement.

The updated KORUS agreement includes several small changes that could result in improved Korean market access for U.S. automakers, an extension of U.S. tariffs on Korean pickup trucks until 2041, and Korean steelmakers being subject to a quota of about 2.68 million tons of steel exports that will be exempt from the new tariffs. This is 70 percent of the annual average Korean steel exports to the United States between 2015-2017.

U.S. FDA Announces new Export Certification Program

On August 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its new export certification program for certain FDA-regulated products such as grains, processed foods, food additives, color additives, food contact substances, and infant formula. The FDA may charge up to $175 for each certification.

The FDA anticipates that this new export certification will facilitate trade by assisting U.S. food exporters in fulfilling importing country requirements for FDA certification of FDA-regulated food products. Exporters should note that the FDA’s export certification program for foods is intended to be complementary to export certification for foods currently issued by other U.S. government agencies. As the FDA launches this new export certification program for foods, the arrangements currently in place for certain food commodities with other U.S. government agencies will remain the same.

The FDA will begin issuing and collecting fees for the new export certifications on October 1, 2018. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.

Korea Temporary MRL List

South Korea recently released a list of temporary maximum residue limits (MRLs) that will be effective before the end of this year and maintained through the end of 2021. Please review the list of temporary MRLs and send feedback on critical missing MRLs to,, and by September 28, 2018. The final list of temporary MRLs, including import tolerances, is scheduled to be released by mid-October.


Ryan is back from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) fifth meeting of the Sub-committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) meetings. The CCC deals with the carriage of packaged dangerous goods, solid bulk cargoes, bulk gas cargoes, and containers. Ryan participated in the IMO CCC 5 as a member of the International Dry Bulk Terminal Association delegation (IBTA) and closely monitored the international efforts related to the regulation of the bulk grain trade. NAEGA priorities at CCC5 included efforts to modify the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) schedules for seed cakes, monitoring if initiatives to revise classifications and  efforts to update IMSBC to incorporate MARPOL Annex V provisions.

A trip report for this mission will be available in the coming weeks.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! Highlights include presentations from grain trade experts at the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) regional workshop on ePhytos for Latin America and the Caribbean, an update on government involvement on the IPPC’s ePhyto Hub, and preparations for the COP-MOP 9 meeting in Egypt later this year.

Read the full newsletter here.