"Yesterday a team of officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and State Department concluded meetings in Beijing with members of China's Agriculture and Trade Ministries. The goal of the meetings was to urge China to clarify its new implementing regulations for imports and labeling of the products of biotechnology and to take interim steps to avoid any interruption in trade.
"China has not presented any science to support these regulations. As drafted, these regulations fail to provide a transparent and predictable framework for exporters and importers. The result could be a halt in exports of farm products. That is an unacceptable situation.
"China's new regulations are of great concern to U.S. soybean exporters. Last year, China accounted for more than 20 percent or $1 billion worth of all U.S. soybean exports. The regulations could also affect U.S. corn and cotton exporters, who expect to benefit from new opportunities created under the WTO accession agreement signed by China.
"We will continue to work with China to ensure that U.S. exports are not interrupted. We urge China to allow for procedures that will enable a smooth transition during implementation of the regulations so as to avoid trade disruptions."