Soy Growers to POTUS Pending Biotech Issues Top Priority with Chinese President

first_imgSoy growers and other industry groups are asking President Barack Obama to make securing positive action on pending biotechnology issues a priority when meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C. later this month.The American Soybean Association (ASA) and soybean state affiliates along with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and numerous others sent a joint letter to President Obama this week, recommending positions and emphasizing the importance of these biotech issues.China is a key export market for U.S. soybeans, but the trade is at risk due to China’s restrictive regulatory approval procedures for biotech products.The letter asked the President to obtain a commitment from President Xi to advance the queue of products in the regulatory system in 2015, including not only the seven products currently awaiting final import approval, but also products awaiting approval to start field tests, and making decisions and acting on products currently in field trials.“These actions will provide U.S. farmers new and much needed tools to address environmental and agronomic stress and give the value chain greater confidence that trade will not be disrupted,” the letter states.The groups also underscored the need for the U.S. and President Xi to reach an agreement to strengthen policies that promote innovation and trade in agriculture.“President Xi could assist in this effort by directing a broader group of Chinese Ministries to engage at a high level in the Strategic Agriculture Innovation Dialogue (SAID), which was created last December for this purpose, but has yet to meet,” the letter states.The letter commended President Obama on the progress made with President Xi on biotechnology issues last year, leading to Chinese approval of biotechnology products and easing a significant cause of disruption in corn trade between the United States and China.But soy growers and other agriculture groups say much of the momentum gained in 2014 has since been lost, as China’s Ministry of Agriculture continues to delay approvals and has proposed new regulations that threaten to extend timelines for approvals of biotech products even further.“Now more than ever, American agriculture needs your continued engagement with China’s President Xi Jinping on agricultural innovation and trade,” the letter to President Obama states. “Sustainably meeting the challenges of global food security is important not only for China, but for all countries, and requires access to innovation and to markets.”Click here to see the entire letter.last_img read more