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New Report Shows Substantial Economic Costs of Chinese Delays on Ag-Biotech Approvals

Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2018) – Persistent delays in China’s ag-biotech regulatory system slows U.S. farmers’ access to new biotechnology products and costs the U.S. economy tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic output, according to a new study released today by Informa’s Agribusiness Consulting Group (Informa). 

Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2018) – Persistent delays in China’s ag-biotech regulatory system slows U.S. farmers’ access to new biotechnology products and costs the U.S. economy tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic output, according to a new study released today by Informa’s Agribusiness Consulting Group (Informa). 

“This new report confirms what we’ve known anecdotally for some time – unreasonable Chinese delays in approval of safe and highly productive ag-biotech crops are hurting farmers in the United States and around the world,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) “As the Informa report underscores, clearing the queue of pending approvals, while important, will only offer a short-term solution. A systemic change is needed  to enable farmers access to new technologies sooner to provide a more reliable, sustainable food and feed supply for the United States, China and the world,” he added.

In 2017, China purchased nearly $20 billion worth of American agricultural products, including more than $10 billion in U.S. soybean sales annually.  Due to the size of the Chinese market for U.S.-grown commodities, technology companies often delay commercialization of new products in the United States and other countries until they have been approved in China so to avoid trade disruptions. 

The report, The Impact of Delays in Chinese Approvals of Biotech Crops, quantifies the significant economic impact due to the delayed availability of new biotech products for farmers in major biotechnology cultivation countries, including the United States and Brazil. 

For the United States, Informa estimates Chinese delays from 2011-2016 resulted in farmers and the broader economy foregoing: $5 billion in farm income growth, nearly 34,000 new jobs, $4.6 billion in wage growth, $7 billion in GDP growth, and $15 billion in business sales.

Further, should China implement a timely and predictable regulatory process, Informa forecasts a substantial benefit to the U.S. economy for the period 2017-2022, including:

  • $4.9 billion in increased farm income;
  • $4.4 billion in increased wage growth;
  • $7.3 billion increase in GDP;
  • $15 billion in increased business sales; and,
  • The creation of and support of over 19,000 U.S. jobs.

“The goal of the seed technology industry is to work cooperatively as a partner with the Chinese government to bring new production technologies to farmers around the world, including China. The outcome of this partnership will be an increase in global food security and greater economic activity in rural communities,” Greenwood added.

For more information on the Informa Report, The Impact of Delays in Chinese Approvals of Biotech Crops, visit https://croplife.org/plant-biotechnology/regulatory-2/informa-report/