House Agriculture Committee Democrats are expressing concerns over non-tariff trade barriers imposed on agricultural biotechnology products. Led by Chairman David Scott of Georgia, the lawmakers sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
The letter addresses China’s import approval process delays for U.S. agriculture biotech products. Under the U.S.-China Phase One agreement, China committed to predictable and consistent average timelines for regulating biotechnology products for import and agreed not to request information unnecessary for assessing the safety of a product for its intended use. However, the letter states, “nearly a year and a half into the two-year agreement, timelines for product approvals for import still average more than seven years.”
Meanwhile, Mexico committed to enhanced biotechnology measures and sanitary and phytosanitary standards in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. But the lawmakers say Mexico has demonstrated a reversal in its treatment of U.S. biotechnology products. Mexico’s regulatory authority has not issued a biotechnology approval in over three years.
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the American Farm Bureau Federation contributed to this report.