Soy Growers Urge USTR Make Biotech a Priority in NAFTA Negotiations

The American Soybean Association (ASA), as part of the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance (USBCA) submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on biotechnology in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) earlier this week.

“Since the NAFTA entered into force, the global regulatory framework for biotech crops has expanded, sometimes resulting in redundant measures, leading to an unpredictable, and time- consuming global regulatory environment, which in turn has imposed high barriers to efficient trade,” the groups state in the letter. “Corn and soybean products often are evaluated for their safety by 20 or more governments, all generally following the same standards for assessment and evaluating the same data. The timing of approval of these products affects the entire crop value chain.”

The groups said the lack of a global regulatory approval process can result in trade disruption in multiple crops, and the current approvals process has delayed introducing new technology to agriculture producers, farmers and developers.

“The USBCA seeks to ensure the unencumbered marketability of U.S. crops and improve international biotechnology regulatory policy, including through trade agreements like NAFTA,” the groups state in the letter.  “To this end, we seek to achieve enhanced cooperation between regulatory agencies and prevent trade disruptions related to agricultural production technologies like biotechnology.”

Click here to read the entire letter.