Monday, November 17, 2014
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2014 Fall Farm Outlook:
What's happening on the GMO/foreign trade issue
By Jan Youngquist

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[November 17, 2014]  LINCOLN -

As much as one third of all grain produced in the U.S. moves into export. In 2011, approximately $42.3 billion worth of grains and oilseeds were exported from the United States.

Only 10 percent of U.S. corn and soybeans brought to market today are not a genetically modified organism.

In 2013, several foreign markets began rejecting grain shipment that contained traces of GMOs that by regulation were not yet accepted by their governments.

Lead U.S. government agencies, all levels of the agriculture industry - producers, processors, associations - have weighed in looking at how to work together on this issue of Biotech products that have not yet been approved in foreign markets.

The result is an ambitious set of trade negotiations in process that includes the Trans-Pacific partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The lead industry groups are lobbying for shared reasonable responsibility in the trade agreements

From the National Corn Growers Axxosiciate:
"NCGA supports the inclusion of Japan in the TPP negotiations and continues to call for a comprehensive liberalized final package. A strong focus on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and nontariff measures that hamper U.S. agricultural exports to TPP countries must be addressed. We seek to eliminate barriers that are not based on science for trading agricultural products derived from biotechnology."

"However, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership must address unjustifiable restrictions on production methods that negatively affect U.S. exports."

On October 29 ADM; Cargill, Incorporated; the National Grain and Feed Association, and the North American Export Grain Association sent a joint letter of support of U.S. Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The letter thanked Vetter and the negotiating team for leadership in a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Below are highlights of that correspondence"

"Now that negotiating teams are positioned to consult widely at home and work intensely with each other to resolve outstanding issues, we are writing to reinforce our fervent belief that a comprehensive and high standard TPP must include gold standard sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) provisions as a critical element of the agreement.

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"To ensure that the TPP SPS commitments are genuinely meaningful, we believe they must: 10) be enforceable; 2) reflect science based disciplines; and 3.) include the key elements laid out in industry's proposal for a "Rapid Response Mechanism" (RRM) to improve food and agriculture trade and expeditiously resolve shipment specific issues.

"A RRM that provides for timely action to expedite resolution of import disputes will add significant value to both SPS and TBT commitments.

Given the perishable nature of food and other agricultural products, there are two key elements that must be included in the TPP.

"First, there are needs to be a rapid notification within a few days to the exporter and importer of record when a shipment is restricted or delayed by regulatory actions at import.

"Second, there must be a formal obligation required of import authorities to work with the importer, exporter and, if needed, the exporter's government representatives to identify options for an expedited resolution with in a matter of days.

Read all the articles in our new
2014 Fall Farm Outlook

2014 Year in Review 4
Flip-flop Weather 10
The up-side-down harvest 16
Will corn producers make money this year? 18
At the Elevator 24
Harvest Quotes 29
What's bred in the ground 34
The growth of farm transportation 38
Behind the wheel 41
New combine head attachments 47
What's happening on the GMO/foreign trade issue 53

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