BIO Statement on China Approvals of Agricultural Biotechnology Products

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement on the announcement that the People’s Republic of China’s National Biosafety Committee approved the final safety certificate for five agricultural biotechnology products.

“While these approvals are welcome news, they are also long overdue and represent half of the products pending in the final queue. Many of these products have languished in China’s regulatory process for more than six years, taking a considerable toll on U.S. innovation, competitiveness and export growth. We appreciate the U.S. government’s efforts to engage Chinese officials on these approvals and seek continued progress as negotiations evolve over the coming months.

“We share the Trump administration’s concerns about systemic impediments to trade and are encouraged that resolving non-tariff barriers, including China’s regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology, is a priority for the administration. It is essential the negotiations between the two countries build on this momentum and establish fundamental reform that enables timely approvals of new agricultural biotechnology products.

“As the 90-day trade negotiation period continues, it is important the administration reinforce what American companies and farmers need to see from China: systemic change that results in a predictable, timely, transparent and science-based decision-making process that facilitates trade.

“Such an outcome is a win for the United States, China and the rest of the world.”

This is the first batch of approvals by China’s National Biosafety Committee since June 2017. Last month, BIO sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging the administration to ensure that a solution to China’s regulatory problems is a core part of any trade agreement reached with the country.