News & Events
Meeting this week in Brazil, MAIZALL's officers were focused on the alliance's mission to Europe. Scheduled for June, the mission will include discussions with EU officials and feed industry leaders on market access and biotechnology issues.
"We face challenges in every region," said U.S. Grains Council Chairman and MAIZALL President Julius Schaaf, "but the EU biotechnology approval system does not follow its own regulatory and statutory timeline requirements perpetuating asynchronous approvals that continue to disrupt corn exports to the EU.
"The collapse of U.S. market share in corn exports to the EU coincided with the introduction of biotech events in corn, and that's not an accident," said Floyd Gaibler, the U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy and biotechnology. "It is clear that the EU uses biotechnology regulation to fence out U.S. imports, and that needs to change. That is a key goal in T-TIP."
Recent political unrest in Venezuela and Ukraine has the potential to disrupt trade and are being closely monitored by U.S. Grains Council representatives in Latin America and Europe.
The United States and European Union Transatlantic and Trade Investment Partnership (T-TIP) are holding their third round of negotiations this week in Washington, D.C. Negotiators on either side are trying to find enough common ground so that early next year they can go beyond conceptual discussions on new rules and start laying down proposals for discussion and negotiation.
This week's U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week shows the corn supply and demand for Ukraine for the past 10 years. The chart demonstrates a dramatic increase in Ukraine corn production up from 6.9 million metric tons (271.6 million bushels) in 2003 to 26 million tons (1 billion bushels) this year.
Participating in a U.S.-EU stakeholder event as part of the initiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations, the U.S. Grains Council urged that regulatory harmonization be a top priority in the agricultural sector.
The timing was coincidence. In London for the 2013 International Grains Council (IGC) Grains Conference, U.S. Grains Council Chairman Julius Schaaf and President and CEO Tom Sleight were greeted by an unexpected headline in the London Independent previewing a major policy address endorsing agricultural biotechnology.
The speech, delivered by UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, was ultimately delivered on June 20, and may be read in its entirety here:
The United States and the European Union announced the formal launch of the U.S.-EU negotiations on a trade and investment agreement during a G-8 meeting this week in Northern Ireland. Formal negotiations on the Transatlantic and Trade Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will begin the week of July 8 in Washington, D.C. The negotiations strive for an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement.
Sometimes there is a disconnect between domestic and international agricultural policy, and it is important to note that this problem is not unique to the United States. Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) between the United States and the EU may begin as early as June. Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership are well advanced. At the same time, both the United States and EU are engaged in review and revision of domestic farm legislation that may have significant implications for pending and projected trade agreements.