U.S. and UK Strike Long-Term Deal Over Derivatives

UK and U.S. markets regulators have finalized a long-term agreement this week to jointly oversee each other’s derivatives markets, providing a “bridge over Brexit” that removes concerns of turmoil if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement.

The agreement will minimize the risk of huge disruption to banks, institutional investors and corporations that use derivatives such as swaps and futures to hedge against movements in interest rates, currencies and commodities. Without such an accord, authorities warned that users would have faced much higher costs. The deal is meant to replicate the current agreement between the U.S. and the EU.

U.S.-China Commission Report on Biotech

On February 14, the U.S.-China Commission released a report entitled China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement, prepared for the Commission by Gryphon Scientific and Rhodium Group. The report examines the development of China’s biotechnology industry and the role foreign trade, investment, and other linkages—particularly with the United States—have played in its evolution. The full report can be found here.

Calyxt gene edited soybean oil launch

On February 26, Calyxt announced the successful commercial launch of its Calyno™ High Oleic Soybean Oil, which is the Company’s first product to be sold on the U.S. market. Calyno oil contains approximately 80 percent oleic acid and up to 20 percent less saturated fatty acids compared to commodity soybean oil as well as zero grams of trans fat per serving. Calyno oil is produced in the U.S., thanks to Calyxt’s partnership with more than 100 farmers in the Upper Midwest region growing over 34,000 acres of Calyxt High Oleic Soybean.  

IGTC Secretariat in D.C.

Last week, NAEGA hosted IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee at its headquarters in Arlington, VA for a working visit to coordinate on implementation of the IGTC Business Plan. During Katy’s time in DC she worked closely with NAEGA on IGTC policy files and priorities and met with Washington based IGTC corporate stakeholders and members. Accomplishments included:

  • Attendance at the USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum
  • Meetings with Informa Economics on the Precision Biotechnology Database
  • Meetings with IGTC members based in Washington
  • Working meetings with the IGTC President to discuss IGTC strategic priorities

A trip report for Katy’s working visit will be available in the coming days.

U.S. FGIS Falling Number changes

On February 21, 2019 the U.S Federal Grain Insepction Service (FGIS) announced that it will implement a new barometric pressure correction and require the use of the Perten Shakematic for the determination of falling number (FN) for wheat grain to reduce overall variation of test results within the official inspection system. These new testing parameters will be implemented  effective May 1, 2019. FGIS will implement this new correction to reduce variation between labs.


A copy of the U.S. FGIS announcement can be found here.

U.S.-China Tariff Deadline Extended

On Sunday, February 24, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that his administration is suspending the March 1 implementation of additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, citing “substantial progress” during trade talks between American and Chinese officials in Washington this past week. As part of the negotiations, Mr. Trump announced that the U.S. and Chinese had forged a compromise on key issues, including forced technology and intellectual property transfers for U.S. firms doing business in China. Additionally, China has agreed to increase purchases of American agricultural goods and energy products.

Vietnam Actions on Grain and Oilseed Imports

USDA APHIS has advised:

  • Vietnam will require destruction or reexport of U.S. wheat or soybeans in which seeds of Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) are detected in incoming deliveries arriving March 1, 2019 or later. APHIS will implement a Canada thistle sampling protocol during U.S. export phytosanitary inspection for wheat and soybeans after an expected directive is issued by the Federal Grain Inspection Service. Only consignments in which no Canada thistle seed is detected will be eligible for phytosanitary certification for Vietnam
  • FGIS will issue a new directive by Wednesday, February 27, which will describe the procedures for detecting Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) seeds in wheat and soybeans bound for Vietnam. All wheat and soybean consignments with inspection dates on or after the directive date will require seed analysis. APHIS will issue phytosanitary certificates for wheat and soybeans bound for Vietnam inspected on or after the directive date only when accompanied by a completed export phytosanitary inspection report (e.g. FGIS-921-2) indicating freedom from seed of Canada thistle. The FGIS directive is to be posted at:


NAEGA continues pursue measures based on sound science and consistent with international convention that are least trade distortive. We are working to support  work with VN PPD in order to establish a compliance regime to pre-empt the precautionary and yet-to-be-identified-or-justified visual inspection at import and re-export measures upon port arrival of U.S. cargoes in VN.   We are also filing detailed and updated reporting, including discussion actions exporters as well as NAEGA might take.  Reports can be found here.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Thursday, February 21 NAEGA attended a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Washington. The Dialogue was pleased to welcome off the record remarks from Canadian Minster of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAuley and the Assistant Deputy Minister Annette Gibbons. During his remarks, Minister MacAuley addressed U.S.-Canada bilateral relations, USMCA passage and Section 232 tariffs. 

Contracts and Best Practices Seminars – Your advice requested

The NAEGA Contracts Committee is seeking your advice on the location, timing and curriculum of this year’s Contracts and Best Practices Seminars. Please let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting a seminar, and what topics we should focus on. This year, the committee is considering contract seminars in the following locations:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba

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.

NAEGA conducts both public and private seminars, and curriculum can be tailored to your needs. 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!

U.S. and Canada Submit Counter Notification to the WTO Regarding India

On February 15, 2019, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the United States, together with Canada, has submitted a counter notification in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support for five pulses: chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, and lentils.


Based on calculations by the U.S. and Canada, the counter notification argues that India has substantially underreported its market price support for chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpes, mung beans, and lentils. When calculated according to WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for each of these pulses far exceeded its allowable levels of trade-distorting domestic support. The United States expects a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for February 26-27, 2019.