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BIO Statement on Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Perdue Testimonies

February 27, 2019
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Washington, D.C. (February 27, 2019) – Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s testimony at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the U.S.-China trade deal and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s testimony at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the rural economy. 

“BIO appreciates testimony today by Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Perdue on the negative effects that China’s non-tariff barriers – such as the biotech crop approval process – have on our nation’s farmers, and we thank them for continuing to address this important issue with Chinese trade officials.

“China’s regulatory framework for agriculture biotechnology is broken, and American farmers have endured Beijing’s unjustified restrictions for far too long. By preventing and delaying biotech approvals with no rational or scientific basis, the Chinese government dictates what technology our farmers can use. Such protectionism stifles innovation and hinders economic growth in our country. It is critical that China commits to systemic change and implements a predictable, timely, transparent, and science-based biotech crop approval process that facilitates trade and bolsters U.S. agricultural exports.

“President Trump recently told farmers, ‘We’re doing trade deals that are going to get you so much business, you won’t believe it.’ For rural America to prosper, the agriculture community needs a deal that forces China to play by the rules. As the negotiations progress, it’s crucial the Trump administration continues to send the message to China that a deal must be comprehensive – addressing tariffs and non-tariff barriers – not just a promise of purchases.

“BIO thanks President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer, Secretary Perdue, and the U.S. officials who have remained steadfast in their commitment to secure a specific, measurable, and enforceable trade deal that pushes China to make the structural reforms that are needed to level the playing field.”

Click here to view Ambassador Lighthizer’s comments on agricultural biotechnology and China.

Click here to view Secretary Perdue’s comments on agricultural biotechnology and China.

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