CGC Convention

A trip report is now available for Gary’s travel to Montreal, Quebec in March 2019. While in Montreal, Gary attended the 2019 Canada Crops Convention at the Le Westin Montreal. This year’s convention, hosted jointly by the Canada Grains Council and the Canola Council of Canada, featured opportunities to network, coordinate and improve international dialogue with grain trade leaders. The convention focused on advancements and trends in agriculture production and trade provided for market education and intelligence gathering opportunities with NAEGA members and other stakeholders.

A copy of Gary’s trip report can be found here.

U.S.-Japan Trade Negotiations Letter

On April 22 NAEGA joined 88 other food and agriculture organizations in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding negotiation and implementation of a U.S.-Japan trade agreement. The letter emphasizes that any agreement with Japan must: include market access provisions that at least equal the terms of the CPTPP and the EU-Japan EPA in the first stage of implementation, and where possible build upon those precedents;  accelerate phase-in of tariff cuts to ensure the U.S. is not facing a disadvantage on tariff or TRQ quantity access compared to other countries; and address non-tariff barriers, such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, biotechnology, TRQ administration, and geographical indications.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Comments on Egypt Quarantine Measures

On Friday, April 19 NAEGA submitted comments to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding Egypt’s notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) of draft rules governing plant quarantine regulations.

In the comments, NAEGA recommends that USDA FAS encourage the U.S. government place internal consideration on the following perspectives of NAEGA and its members:

  1. We have been honored to be a consistent, competitive and reliable supplier of high quality, safe and affordable supplies of grains and oilseeds to provide for Egypt’s needs
  2. We greatly respect and wish to support the Government of Egypt’s role in providing for safe, reliable and affordable supplies of food.
  3. We recognize and support the protection of plant and animal agriculture that is a critical responsibility of the entire supply chain as well as the GofE .
  4. We seek any opportunity, including working to address concerns and opportunities related to EGY 90 in order to continue to our successful trade and investment relationship and to work with GofE on efforts to provide for safe and most efficient access to supplies of wheat, corn, soybeans and other grains for import. One way to do that is to establish regular public-private dialogue to address import policy related to plant health concerns.
  5. We know that industry experience and scientific analysis can provide for a consultative partnership that is supportive of the GofE efforts to provide for food security, affordability and the management of plant health risks by applying sound science and best practices that are all based on and compliant with internationally accepted industry protocols and the International Phytosanitary Measures established by the International Plant Protection Convention.

A copy of the full comments can be found here.


On Thursday, April 18, 2019 the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) released its Congressionally mandated report on the likely impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on the U.S. economy. The report estimated that the USMCA would raise U.S. real GDP by $68.2 billion (0.35 percent) and U.S. employment by 176,000 jobs (0.12 percent) over a six year period. In addition, U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico would increase by $19.1 billion (5.9 percent) and $14.2 billion (6.7 percent), respectively. U.S. imports from Canada and Mexico would increase by $19.1 billion (4.8 percent) and $12.4 billion (3.8 percent), respectively. Overall, the agreement would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy.

A copy of the report can be found here.  

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. We have scheduled a seminar in Tokyo for November 22.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting a seminar, and what topics we should focus on. The Committee is now considering contract seminars in the following locations:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • St. Louis, MO
  • 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 Patrick 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!

London Grain Week

On June 9-13 Katy Lee, Sam Bonilla and Gary are planning to travel to London to lead and participate in events during the London Grain week, including meetings with International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC), International Grains Council (IGC), the United Kingdom’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and GAFTA. 


IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee is back from Rome, Italy where she attended the International Plant Protection Convention’s 14th Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), a meeting of the 183 contracting parties to the IPPC. At the CPM Katy monitored agenda topics relevant to the IGTC policy priorities, including:

  • The contribution of the global trade of commodities to global food security and economic development
  • The business plan for the ePhyto Solution post 2019
  • International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH 2020)
  • Next generation sequencing technologies as a diagnostic tool for phytosanitary purposes
  • Adding, deleting or modifying IPPC documents on the following subjects of interest to IGTC members:
  • Terms for consideration by the Technical Panel on the Glossary (TPG);
  • Diagnostic protocols for consideration by the Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP);
  • Phytosanitary treatments for consideration by the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments (TPPT)

A trip report for this travel will be available in the coming days.

USCG final rule on sea farer access

The U.S. Coast Guard published the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final Rule in the Federal Register April 1, 2019, requiring owners and operators of Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities to provide seafarers holding valid U.S. visas and other covered individuals with the ability to transit through the facility in a timely manner and at no cost to the individuals.

Under this rule, each owner or operator of a maritime facility regulated by the Coast Guard is required to implement a system providing seafarers, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate, in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. The final rule provides regulatory flexibility to owners and operators to determine the method of shore access that best suits the size and function of their facility. These methods may include, but are not limited to, providing regularly scheduled or on-call shuttle service, taxi service, arrangements with seafarers’ welfare organizations, or monitoring of pedestrian routes.

The access procedures must be documented in the Facility Security Plan for each facility and approved by the local Captain of the Port. Although the final rule is effective May 1, 2019, each facility owner or operator has 14 months after publication of the final rule (June 1, 2020) to implement a system. This delayed implementation allows the Captain of the Port to work with each facility in the event of deficiencies in the plan.

A copy of the final rule can be found here.

EU announces negotiating mandate for U.S. trade agreement

On Monday, April 15 the European Commission’s council (EC) approved its negotiating objectives for upcoming trade negotiations with the United States. The directive covers two potential agreements with the U.S.:

  • A trade agreement strictly focused on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products;
  • A second agreement, on conformity assessment to make it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic

The directive compels the Commission, as part of negotiation of the agreement, to further examine the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of the agreement, taking into account the commitments of the EU in international agreements, including the Paris Agreement on climate change. This assessment, as well as the negotiating process itself, will be conducted in regular dialogue with the European Parliament, Member States, civil society and all relevant stakeholders, in line with the European Commission's commitment to transparency. As part of its engagement for an inclusive trade policy, the Commission is currently running a public consultation on voluntary regulatory cooperation.

Contracts Committee Sponsored Travel for Arbitrators

In 2019, the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) is planning a series of training seminars on ICDR case management, including two in North America. The seminar, titled ICDR International Symposia in Advanced Case Management Issues is intended to inform participants on AAA ICDR rules and procedures for arbitration panels and provide guidance on managing cases for chairpersons. This seminar fulfills the training requirement for NAEGA arbitrators who are interested in serving as Special Grain Arbitrators and chairpersons on arbitration panels.

In order to meet our Board of Directors mandated goal of increasing the number of qualified Special Grain Arbitrators, NAEGA is offering financial assistance of up to $1,000 to arbitrators who are interested in attending this ICDR training or the proposed ICDR trainings in North America. Financial assistance can be used to cover registration fees, airfare or lodging to attend a training seminar. ICDR has not yet announced dates for the North American events and we will notify Members when the dates are posted, and more information is available. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity to attend an ICDR training and receive financial assistance, please contact