Ag groups urge Obama to press Chinese leader on biotech issues during visit

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and other agriculture industry groups recently sent President Obama a joint letter in which they asked him to make biotechnology issues a priority with Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits Washington later this month.

ASA was joined by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). They asked the president to obtain a commitment from Jinping to advance products currently in the Chinese regulatory system, those that are pending import approval and those waiting to begin field testing.

“Now, more than ever, American agriculture needs your continued engagement with China’s President Xi Jinping on agricultural innovation and trade,” the letter said. “Sustainably meeting the challenges of global food security is important not only for China, but also for all countries, and requires access to innovation and to markets.”

The ASA said China is one of the main export markets for soybeans grown in the U.S., but trade between the two countries is hindered by China's heavy regulatory requirements for biotech products.

“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 said.

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American Soybean Association

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