(Posted Wed. Oct 1st, 2014)
Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association joined with 12 other organizations representing farmers and agribusiness in sending a letter urging President Obama to keep Chinese agricultural biotechnology policy and its impact on U.S. crop exports to China in mind as he prepares for the 2014 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit.
During the summit, hosted by the People’s Republic of China, the group asked the Administration to remain aware of the harmful impact China’s current policies continue to have on America’s farmers as well as the importance of this market.
“The Chinese market for U.S. grains and oilseeds is incredibly important to the viability of the U.S. agricultural economy,” the letter explained. “China is the largest U.S. export market for soybeans, $14 billion in 2013 and corn and corn product exports were roughly $3.5 billion.
“Agricultural biotechnology is also important to U.S. farmers, with acreage for biotechnology varieties of corn and soybeans totaling over 90 percent in 2014; enabling U.S. farmers to increase yield while reducing their environmental footprint. However, the U.S. agricultural crop value-chain currently faces serious challenges in providing for predictable and stable trade to China due to the inability to secure timely import approvals for new biotechnology products and a growing concern that factors other than science are being used as justification to reject applications. In some instances, this has created a situation where U.S. exports of agricultural crop commodities have ceased or are in jeopardy of being rejected.”
Additional signatories included: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Corn Refiners Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Grain and Feed Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Export Grain Association, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Grains Council, and U.S. Soybean Export Council.
To read the full letter, click here.