USAEDC Attaché Seminar

On July 10-11, 2019, NAEGA staff attended the 2019 U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) Attaché Seminar in Arlington, VA.  Gary and Patrick met with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) attaches from Italy, Russia, Egypt, Argentina and Kenya to discuss NAEGA and IGTC policy files as well as enquire about country-specific agricultural issues. In addition to these one-on-one meetings, USAEDC speakers including Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA, to provide updates and insight into the current status and future of U.S. agricultural trade.

For more information about NAEGA’s involvement at the USAEDC contact Gary or Patrick.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Friday, July 12, the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade was hosted by Archer Daniels Midland Company in Washington, DC. The Dialogue was pleased to welcome off the record remarks Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the President of the U.S.-China Business Council.  During his remarks, Ambassador Doud addressed U.S.-China bilateral relations and negotiations with Japan.  

Unified Export Strategy

On Friday, June 28, NAEGA sent its 2020 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The UES sets the framework under which NAEGA will administer its Market Access Program funding in the 2020 program year. The 2020 UES highlights planned initiatives and past success and serves as a blueprint for activities NAEGA intends to engage in over the next year, including efforts to promote the electronic exchange of commercial and official trade documents and efforts to address market access barriers through ongoing trade negotiations. This year’s UES includes a funding request for deploying and maintaining the Plant Biotechnology Information Exchange (PBIE).

FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be made by the end of October and the initial award dates estimated to be by the end of December 2019. A copy of the 2020 UES can be found on the NAEGA web site. For more information, please contact Patrick at

Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court – Safe-Berth Clauses

NAEGA members are welcome to join our work to provide for an Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court Review of Safe-Berth Clauses in Voyage Charter Agreements re: CITGO Asphalt Ref. Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co. under a Common Interest Agreement (CIA). At issue is the interpretation and scope of the safe berth clause that appears in all charter party agreements. A split has occurred between U.S. Circuit Courts - the Second and Third U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal interpret the safe berth clause to essentially impose strict liability on charterer, versus the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that applies a much more flexible standard. A split among the circuits is one of the strongest bases for granting Supreme Court review. The parties filed a letter granting blanket consent for amicus briefs, which will make things easier for NAEGA to help assemble and submit a brief by the deadline of July 16, 2019.

In a fashion similar to our approach to trade remedy (Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty) and other litigation that requires the sharing of information, participating NAEGA Member companies will work via Special Interest Group (SIG) to provide of the Brief.

Please let Gary Martin ( know if your company would like to be included in the work to provide for an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court Review of Safe-Berth Clauses in Voyage Charter Agreements by June 21.

In a fashion similar to our approach to trade remedy (Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty) and other litigation that requires the sharing of information, participating NAEGA Member companies will work via Special Interest Group (SIG) to provide of the Brief. Please let Gary Martin ( know if your company would like to be included in the work to provide for an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court Review of Safe-Berth Clauses in Voyage Charter Agreements by June 21.

NAEGA & IGTC Travel to London Grain Week

NAEGA President Gary Martin, Senior Advisor Sam Bonilla and International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) Secretariat Katy Lee travelled to London from June 9-13 for Grain Week, including meetings with IGTC, International Grains Council (IGC), the United Kingdom’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA). The group took part in a wide range of activities, including the following:

  • At the global IGTC strategy session and the 49th intergovernmental council session of the IGC on June 10 an intensive focus was placed on the successful work of IGTC and its coordination with policies of concern to the grain trade. The current IGTC files addressed at the strategy session and the IGC council session were:
    • Crop protection product approvals & residue measures
    • Innovation in electronic trading documentation
    • Plant breeding innovation
    • Harmonization of phytosanitary control methods and the UN International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
    • Cartagena Biosafety Protocol
    • Low level presence
  • On June 11, Gary and Katy took part in the annual IGC Conference and Sam represented NAEGA at a meeting of the GAFTA International Contacts Committee. All three travelers attended a reception commemorating the success of 70 years of international grain trade cooperation hosted by the Ambassador of Japan and the IGC Chairman.  
  • At the IGC Conference workshops on Wednesday, June 12, Gary chaired an IGTC workshop: “A Dialogue on International Progress through Cooperation” at which cooperation between governments and commercial actors to provide for innovation and enhancement of the trade flows were examined in an interactive session. IGTC also provided grain trade expertise and representation at a workshop held by CropLife International on the same day, with a specific focus on trade impacts of regulation on Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of crop protection products.

The three are preparing final trip reports which will be posted to the NAEGA Member’s Only Website when complete.

Report on USGSA Reauthorization Issues

Last week, NAEGA conveyed a report from Senior Advisor Kirk Miller on “2019 U.S. Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Issues” Kirk’s report is part of the extensive work of the NAEGA Grades and Inspections Committees on going consideration and joint work with the NGFA Grades and Weights committee to develop policy related to the in order to inform U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) on September 30, 2020.

Kirk report’s on several FGIS actions and commercial trade concerns that the U.S. Congress could be encouraged to consider as part of the USGSA reauthorization. They include

  1. Regional coordination and cooperation measures under a future U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  2. General waivers for private third party inspections and weighing.
  3. Limiting the use of FGIS grain quality inspections in phytosanitary dispute resolution activities.
  4. FGIS oversight and external reviews to ensure that service competitiveness is being met.
  5. Alternative practices and procedures to prevent export inspections from bearing the burden of being the last critical control point for control of any pest problems that are being used as TBT’s.
  6. Promoting scientifically valid risk assessments in U.S. trade dispute resolution. Kirk’s report can be accessed here.


Ryan is back from Cancun, Mexico, where he represented NAEGA and IGTC priorities at the 26th Annual NAEGA-APPAMEX Forum. Co-hosted by NAEGA, the forum featured presentations on international grain and oilseeds markets and updates on the future of agricultural trade in the context of several regional agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). The forum included contributions from both the current Mexican administration with the attendance of Undersecretary of Agriculture Miguel Garcia Winder. During the forum, Mr. Olson provided remarks at the opening ceremony, gave a presentation on Leading Trade Policies in the Global Economies and represented the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) on multilateral regulatory issues.

A copy of the trip report for the mission can be found here. Ryan presentation can be found here.


On May 22-24 Ryan travelled to Cancun, Mexico to attend the 26th Annual NAEGA-APPAMEX Forum at the Hotel Secrets the Vine. During the forum, Ryan represented NAEGA and IGTC policy positions before nearly 160 participants, including representatives of the Mexican feed industry association CONAFAB. Mr. Olson also met with representatives of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development (SAGARPA) and the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA). On Friday, May 24 Mr. Olson presented before the general session on Leading Trade Policies in the Global Economy. Also, on Friday, Katy Lee, Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) presented virtually from Brussels on IGTC policy priorities and multilateral regulatory issues.

A copy of Katy and Ryan’s presentations can be found here and here.

Enogen Stewardship

On Tuesday, May 7 Gary and Ryan met with representatives from Syngenta to receive an update on their Enogen corn stewardship plans.

Syngenta is currently expanding sales of Enogen as a feed corn among 3,000 growers, with concentrations in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, New England and Wisconsin. Syngenta anticipates that, in 2019/2020, two-thirds of Enogen corn will go to feed, while the remaining third will go to fuel usage. As parts of its commercialization, Syngenta is conducting stewardship trainings with its growers and rolling out, a password protected mapping software containing information on Enogen corn locations based on contracts between Syngenta and growers. A high resolution, password protected site will be available to consumers and handlers and a lower resolution site will be available to the general public.

More information on Syngenta’s Enogen commercialization 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.