U.S. Trade Advisory Committees Nominees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in cooperation with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is accepting nominations for new members to serve on its agricultural trade advisory committees. The deadline to be considered for the next round of appointments is Friday, March 1, 2019.

Members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) will assist in advising the USDA and USTR on operating existing trade agreements, on negotiating new agreements, and on other trade policy matters. Focusing on six aspects of trade:

  • Animals and animal products;
  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Grains, feed, oilseeds and planting seeds;
  • Sweeteners and sweetener products; and
  • Tobacco, cotton, and peanuts.

Committee members must be U.S. citizens, qualify for a security clearance, and serve without compensation for time, travel or expenses. The committees generally meet in Washington D.C., at least twice a year. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. ET on March 1, 2019. All nomination materials should be mailed in a single, complete package to: Sonny Perdue, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-1001, Attn: APAC/ATACs. Courtesy electronic copies of the nomination materials should be sent to

Section 301 Comments

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is conducting its year Special 301 review to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. Based on this review, the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) determines which, if any, of these countries to identify as Priority Foreign Countries. USTR requests written comments that identify acts, policies, or practices that may form the basis of a country's identification as a Priority Foreign Country or placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR also requests notices of intent to appear at the public hearing.


February 7, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST: Deadline for submission of written comments, hearing statements, and notices of intent to appear at the hearing from the public.

February 21, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST: Deadline for submission of written comments, hearing statements, and notices of intent to appear at the hearing from foreign governments.

February 27, 2019: The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing at the Office of the United State Trade Representative, 1724 F Street NW, Rooms 1&2, Washington, DC.

On or about April 26, 2019: USTR will publish the 2019 Special 301 Report within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report.

U.S.-U.K. Trade Negotiation Comments

The U.S. International Trade Commission is seeking public comments on the probably economic effect of providing duty free treatment for currently dutiable imports under a proposed U.S.-U.K. Trade Agreement.

The U.S. Trade Representative, under authority delegated by the President, has requested that the Commission provide a report containing its advice as to the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of currently dutiable products from the UK on (i) industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive products, and (ii) consumers.

In addition, the USTR requested that the Commission prepare an assessment of the probable economic effects of eliminating tariffs on imports from the UK of those agricultural products described in the list attached to the USTR’s request letter on (i) industries in the United States producing the products concerned, and (ii) the U.S. economy as a whole.

The following deadlines apply for this request:

January 10, 2019: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.

January 14, 2019: Deadline for filing prehearing briefs and statements.

January 31, 2019: Public hearing.

February 11, 2019: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and submissions.

February 11, 2019: Deadline for filing all other written statements.

May 8, 2019: Transmittal of Commission report to the USTR.

A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on January 31, 2019.

U.S.-Japan Trade Negotiation Comments

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on a proposed U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement including U.S. interests and priorities, in order to develop U.S. negotiating positions. Public comments should include information on issues including, but not limited to, the following:


  • General and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement.
  • Relevant barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Japan that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  • Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and removal or reduction of non-tariff barriers on articles traded with Japan.
  • Treatment of specific goods (described by HTSUS numbers) under the proposed agreement, including comments on:
    • Product-specific import or export interests or barriers.
    • Experience with particular measures that should be addressed in the negotiations.
    • Ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the context of the proposed agreement.
    • Customs and trade facilitation issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
    • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade that should be addressed in the negotiations.
    • Other measures or practices that undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers that should be addressed in the negotiations.


The following deadlines apply for this request:

November 26, 2018: Deadline for the submission of written comments, and for written notification of your intent to testify, as well as a summary of your testimony at the public hearing.

December 10, 2018: The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington DC 20436.

RCC Stakeholder Forum and Comments

NAEGA members are invited to attend a meeting of the U.S.- Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council’s 2018 Stakeholder Forum on December 4-5 in Washington, D.C. The stakeholder forum will bring together senior regulatory officials, industry, and other interested members of the public from both sides of the border to discuss recent accomplishments and new opportunities for regulatory cooperation. Further information, including location and agenda, can be found here.

Prior to the forum, the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is requesting information and soliciting public input on how the Federal Government, under the auspices of the RCC, may reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulatory differences between the United States and Canada. OIRA also seeks public comment to identify ongoing or emerging areas for which cooperation could reduce the risk of divergence between U.S. and Canadian regulations. The comments submitted in response to the RFI may inform agencies' development of regulatory reform proposals to modify or repeal existing agency requirements to increase efficiency related to economic activity with Canada, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance, while continuing to meet agency missions and statutory requirements.

NAEGA members are invited to provide there input to draft comments from NAEGA and NGFA. A copy of the draft comments can be found here.

The request for comments can be found here. Please let us know if you are interested in participating. These comments are due on December 10, 2018.

Korea MRLs

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has published a SECOND draft list of temporary MRLs on October 19, 2018. Please note that this is still a draft and that MFDS is collecting comments. We expect a final list of MRLs to be published by Korea in mid-November which will contain MRLs from both this second list and the list published on October 12, 2018.  The ultimate temporary maximum residue limits (MRLs) are scheduled to effective before the end of this year and maintained through the end of 2021. The final MRL list is expected to be released in mid-November.

A copy of the lists can be found below:

-           First draft MRL list
-           Second draft MRL list

Please review these lists and send comments for NAEGA to convey by October 30, 2018.

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.

Licensing of U.S. Agricultural Shipments to Cuba

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is requesting public comments on the effectiveness of its licensing procedures for exports of agricultural commodities to Cuba. BIS will include a description of these comments in the biennial report it is required to submit to Congress under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.

In particular, BIS is seeking comments on the following areas:

  1. The number and types of licenses applied for and approved.
  2. The average amount of time from the date of filing an application until the date of its approval.
  3. The extent to which the licensing procedures were effectively implemented.

For more information, see the Federal Register notice. Comments are due by October 17, 2018.

Meeting on IMO III 5

The Department of State will be holding a public meeting on Friday, September 14 to prepare for the fifth session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Subcommittee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III 5) to be held at the IMO headquarters in London, UK, on September 24-28. Agenda items include discussions of the alleged inadequacy of port reception facilities, measures to harmonize port state control activities and procedures worldwide, and safety issues identified from the analysis of marine safety investigation reports.

The official notice in the Federal Register can be found here and additional information here.

Interested persons may attend the meeting in person or participate via teleconference. If you would like to attend, contact Mr. Christopher Gagnon by email at or by phone at (202) 372-1231. Those wanting to physically attend the meeting must respond to Mr. Gagnon no later than September 5, 2018.

USDA AMS Grain Inspection Advisory Committee

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Grain Inspection Advisory Committee will be holding a public meeting on September 5-6, 2018 at AMS National Grain Center in Kansas City, Missouri to advise the AMS on the programs and services delivered under the U.S. Grain Standards Act. Recommendations by the Advisory Committee help AMS better meet the needs of its customers who operate in a dynamic and changing marketplace, and public participation is welcome in this endeavor.

The official notice in the Federal Register can be found here and additional information here.

Public participation will be limited to written and oral statements. If you wish to present written or oral comments, contact Kendra Kline at (202) 690-2410 or by email at Oral comment opportunities will be at a first come, first serve basis.