The United States is among the world’s top producers of food and agricultural products. Ensuring the continued success of American agriculture abroad has been a topline priority for USTR, Ambassador Tai, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration.
As a result of extensive engagement with U.S. trading partners and close collaboration with domestic stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ambassador Tai has achieved numerous breakthroughs for America’s farmers and producers in global markets, including through the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
- September 2021 – USTR assists in obtaining U.S. government funding for an advisor on sanitary and phytosanitary measures to work with African partners in order to improve agricultural trade between the U.S. and Africa and to the benefit of both U.S. and African farmers and food producers.
- First quarter of 2021 – Angola reduces import restrictions on U.S. poultry after interventions by USTR and USDA bilaterally and at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2022, U.S. exports of poultry and poultry products were $232 million, making Angola the sixth largest market for U.S. poultry exports.
- December 2022 – Argentina agrees to provide additional compliance assistance and consultations to U.S. exporters with regard to its new front-of-package nutrition labeling law. Further, Argentina agrees to accept temporary stickering to comply with this measure while companies redesign product packaging. In 2022, U.S. exports of processed foods to Argentina were over $100 million.
- May 2023 – Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture published a regulatory order allowing the importation of U.S. cotton into Bangladesh without fumigation on-arrival, removing a long-standing trade irritant.
- November 2022 – Brazil announces it would revise Decree 6.871 to amend product definitions, maximum alcohol by volume limits, and expiration date requirements on alcoholic beverages in an effort to facilitate trade.
- March 2022 – After considerable engagement by USTR, Canada agreed to periodically notify the WTO of amendments to its new Clean Fuel Regulation, to regulate the production and importation of renewable fuels and their feedstocks, for use in transport fuel. Since March 2022 Canada has notified two separate amendments to the regulation, and as a result the United States was able to persuade Canada to modify certain elements that would have disadvantaged imports of biofuels by granting credits for use of carbon capture technologies only to Canada’s domestic biofuel producers. The United States exports over $1 billion worth of ethanol and ethanol feedstocks to Canada annually.
- USTR continues to defend the interests of American farmers, processors, and exporters by ensuring that Canada’s allocation of dairy tariff-rate-quotas (TRQs) are consistent with Canada’s obligations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
- July 15, 2021 – U.S. and Colombia finalize an exchange of letters under the U.S. Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), securing one of the largest export markets for U.S. corn.
- August 2022 – After U.S. engagement with the government of Ecuador, both bilaterally and on the floor of the October 2022 WTO Committee on Agriculture, Ecuador’s government confirms that a provision banning the import of powdered milk products from all sources, including the United States, is inconsistent with Ecuador’s international commitments and therefore would not be enforced.
- March 2022 – Ecuador implements revisions to its import licensing system, following U.S. engagement under the U.S.-Ecuador Trade and Investment Council (TIC). USDA estimates that the previous import licensing system impeded up to approximately $70 million worth of U.S. agricultural exports to Ecuador since the system was implemented in 2013.
- September 8, 2023 - The European Union (EU) agreed to the continued use of simplified export certificates for U.S. wine exports to the EU. The EU had previously indicated changes to this export certificate under new ingredient labeling regulations for wine. The simplified export certificate streamlines the importation of U.S. wine into the EU. In 2022, U.S. exports of wine and related products to the EU were $209 million.
- Fiscal Year 2023 – The EU issues four approvals and five renewals for agricultural biotechnology products.
- January 2023 – USTR signs an agreement with the EU that provides the United States with the revised allocations of EU tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) to account for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the EU. The modified TRQ allocations restore certainty and predictability for U.S. exporters, and will continue to provide favorable and intended EU market access for multiple U.S. agricultural products such as rice, wheat, and corn.
- November 20, 2022 – EU revises packaging directive to decrease market fragmentation following requests from the United States government and industry for the European Commission to address the proliferation of divergent packaging-related regulations across the EU.
- Fiscal Year 2022 – EU issues six approvals and one renewal for agricultural biotechnology products, including one U.S. canola product that had been under review by the EU since 2012.
- February 2022 – The U.S. and EU conclude negotiations to allow for resumption of bilateral trade in bivalve molluscan shellfish. Since 2011, trade in live, raw bivalve molluscan shellfish between the United States and the EU has been blocked in both directions. The U.S. industry estimates that it had lost approximately $30 million annually in exports of live oysters, scallops, and clams to the EU.
- October 2021 – The U.S. and EU host the first meeting of the Food Safety Technical Working Group (TWG). The creation of the TWG offers a formal venue to discuss the increasing number of specific bilateral trade irritants related to food safety issues, and for U.S. and EU regulators to promote dialogue and discuss opportunities for enhanced food safety cooperation on existing and emerging issues.
- Fiscal Year 2021 – The EU announces its latest batch of agricultural biotechnology product approvals, bringing the FY2021 number of approvals to 18 (12 approvals, 6 renewals) - compared to one approval in FY 2020.
- August 10, 2021 – EU publishes in the official journal an amendment extending the transitional period for the use of animal product certificates required for entry into the EU. The United States shipped over $1.5 billion of animal products to the EU in 2020. Nearly $500 million in products would have been impacted on August 21 if the extension was not granted.
- October 2022 – The Government of Georgia responds to U.S. comments regarding Draft "Rule for indication of country of origin or place of provenance for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry." Georgia extends its implementation period from 18 months to two years, per U.S. request.
- March 2021 – USTR and USDA ensure U.S. poultry exports will maintain access to Georgia’s market after working with Georgia to amend their water retention regulation for poultry.
- January 12, 2023 – Ghana’s Acting Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) approved U.S. import certificates for pork and pork products. The CVO also confirmed that Ghana will recognize these certificates for beef, lamb, goat, and poultry. Following this announcement, the Ghanaian market is officially open to all U.S. meat products. In 2022, the United States exported over $60 million of beef, pork, poultry, and other meat products to Ghana.
- June 30, 2022 – The National Biosafety Authority of Ghana approves the release into the environment and market of the genetically engineered crop BT Cowpea, also known as black-eyed pea. The approval lasts for ten years and can be renewed. This is the first GE crop developed and approved by Ghana and paves the way for increased market access for U.S. biotechnology products.
- September 8, 2023 – India and U.S. resolve final outstanding WTO dispute and India agrees to reduce tariffs on certain U.S. products, including frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, and processed blueberries and cranberries.
- June 22, 2023 – India and U.S. terminate six WTO disputes and India agrees to remove retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid, and diagnostic reagents.
- February 2023 – India reduces its pecan tariff by 70 percent to 30 percent on imports, following high-level discussions on agricultural market access issues at the January 2023 U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum. Industry estimates that the pecan tariff reduction will increase U.S. exports from $1 million to $50-60 million by 2030.
- January 2022 – The U.S. and India conclude an agreement for India to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products for the first time, removing a longstanding barrier to U.S. agricultural trade. This agreement follows the successful revitalization of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum held in New Delhi in November 2021, and culminates nearly two decades of technical work by USDA on pork market access.
- April 2022 – Indonesia approves three U.S. dairy facilities, bringing the list of U.S. facilities eligible to ship to Indonesia up to 128. Indonesia is the seventh largest market for U.S. dairy, with calendar year 2022 exports valued at $453 million.
- August 2022 – Israel agrees to open its market to U.S. processed meat products, making the United States the first and only country in the world with market access in Israel for processed meat products.
- February 2022 – Israel removes trade restrictive portions of its mandatory labeling measure on distilled spirits following U.S. interventions. Following consultations, Israel’s Commissioner of Standardization declared that the mandatory labeling requirements in the measure would be made voluntary to avoid any unnecessary obstacles to trade. In 2022, the U.S. exported $4.0 million in distilled spirits to Israel.
- On April 1, 2023 – Japan implements a new biofuels policy that will allow the United States to capture up to 100 percent of Japan’s on-road ethanol market. Under the new policy, exports of U.S. ethanol could increase by over 80 million gallons annually, representing an additional $150-200 million in exports each year.
- January 1, 2023 – A new agreement revising the beef safeguard mechanism under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement enters into force, allowing U.S. beef exporters to more reliably meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef, providing more predictability and reducing the probability that safeguard duties will be imposed on U.S. beef. Exports of U.S. beef to Japan totaled over $2.3 billion in 2022, with Japan representing the United States’ second largest beef export market.
- May 2023 – During the 9th U.S.-Jordan FTA Joint Committee, Jordan made a commitment to remedy an error and remove Most-Favored-Nation tariffs of 20 percent on U.S. exports of fertilized eggs. In 2022, Jordan imported $4.5 million worth of fertilized eggs from all over the world.
- May 2022 – The U.S. ships fresh potatoes to Mexico beyond a 26-kilometer zone along the U.S.-Mexico border after seeking access beyond the border zone since 2003. In 2022, the United States exported over $82 million of U.S fresh potatoes to Mexico, its second largest export market.
- December 2022 –Namibia and the United States finalized a protocol that recognizes U.S. control measures to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza. This agreement promotes the safe trade of U.S. exports of poultry and poultry products to Namibia. In 2022, U.S. exports of poultry and poultry products to Namibia were $2.6 million.
- October 12, 2023 – The Central Bank of Nigeria lifted restrictions on the use of foreign currency to purchase 43 products including milk and dairy products, rice, meat and processed meat products, vegetables, poultry, and tomato paste. This policy change is a significant step toward more predictable market access. While the removal of these restrictions is a positive development, Nigeria continues to prohibit imports of many agricultural products including beef, poultry, and pork.
- January 2022 – The U.S. and Nigeria announce an agreement for an opening of the Nigerian market to U.S. pork sausage and similar products. This agreement marks the first time a U.S. animal protein has been granted access to the Nigerian market since 2002.
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
- July 1, 2023 – China implements broad new requirements for international food production facilities, including U.S. facilities. Through direct outreach under the Phase One Agreement, and multilateral efforts at the WTO, the United States ensured that hundreds of U.S. food production facilities remained registered after implementation of these new requirements, while minimizing new resource burdens on U.S. food safety regulators.
- February 27, 2023 – General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) updates its lists of foreign feed additive facilities eligible to export to China to include all outstanding U.S. producers of these products. In 2022, the United States exported over $225 million worth of these products to China, a number that can continue to grow with additional facilities eligible to export.
- January 19, 2023 – The GACC relists two U.S. poultry facilities as eligible to export to China after these facilities had been suspended following local media reports of COVID-19 infections among workers. GACC suspended these facilities in August and October 2020 amid unfounded concerns that COVID-19 may spread via food and food packaging.
- January 13, 2023 – China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) announce the approval of six U.S.-developed GE products for import, including the first ever approval for GE alfalfa. These six products, which include three cotton products, two alfalfa products, and one canola product, had been awaiting final approval from MARA for over five years.
- December 2022 – Following consultation and engagement with the U.S. Government and industry, the Philippines extended temporary Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) duty reductions for pork, from 30 to 15 percent for in-quota imports, and from 40 to 25 percent for over-quota imports. These tariff reductions were initially implemented for one year beginning in May 2021, and reinstated in June 2022 through the end of 2022. On December 29, 2022, the President of the Philippines extended the reductions again through the end of 2023.
REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
- July 2023 - the Republic of the Congo announced a temporary pause on import and customs processing fees for imported food products in an effort to combat food price inflation. These measures will remain in place until they are reviewed by the Government of the Republic of the Congo. In 2022, the U.S. exported $87 million in poultry and poultry products to the Republic of the Congo.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
- October 2022 – Korea released an "Eco-friendly Biofuels Expansion Plan" in an effort to foster new, carbon-neutral energy industries. The plan notably included the launch of a fuel ethanol blending pilot program, to be led by the private sector and implemented with fleets owned by public organizations and pilot gas stations. U.S. ethanol exports to Korea for industrial use have increased substantially in recent years, setting a record in 2022 with exports valued at $455.5 million, and would be poised to grow even more substantially if Korea establishes a blending policy aligned with the United States.
- August 11, 2021 – Korea confirms with the United States that it scaled back data requirements necessary to secure agricultural biotechnology approvals with the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).
- May 2022 – After USTR and USDA worked through the WTO TBT Committee to provide Saudi Arabia with information to support revising its proposed labeling requirements for processed products, Saudi Arabia notified that the labeling measure will be suspended until further modification.
- June 2022 – Senegal signs a new biosecurity law, repealing the 2009 biosecurity law and establishing a process to allow the entry, research, and commercialization of genetically engineered (GE) products or derived products in Senegal.
- October 27, 2023 – Following extensive engagement by USTR, including interventions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, South Africa announced the lifting of restrictions on U.S. poultry and poultry product exports from 27 U.S. states that have been declared free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). South Africa’s restrictions on U.S. poultry had been in place well after the U.S. states had been declared HPAI-free. In 2022, U.S. exports of poultry and poultry products to South Africa were $57 million.
- July 31, 2023 – South Africa repeals proposed amendments on the labeling and composition of wine and spirits that would have narrowed the scope of U.S. products that were eligible to enter the South African market. In 2022, U.S. exports of distilled spirits to South Africa were $22.2 million.
- October 2022 – Following World Trade Organization (WTO) transparency trainings supported by USTR, South Africa notifies its national standards work programme to the WTO Standards Information Gateway for the first time since 1995. The notification of the national standards work programme provides greater market predictability for U.S. industry.
- September 2022 – South Africa agrees to resume import of U.S. poultry from states that have been declared highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)-free.
- 2021 – South Africa increases their quota for U.S. exports of bone-in poultry after USTR and USDA work with South Africa to clarify and improve guidelines for the utilization of TRQ allocations for U.S. bone-in chicken imports.
- November 7, 2023 – Government of Tanzania responds to U.S. comments concerning a proposed standard for frozen pizza. Tanzania adopts several U.S. technical recommendations, clarifying the scope of products targeted by the draft measure.
- August 2021 – Thailand approves U.S. request to eliminate burdensome requirements for U.S. exporters of beer, wine, and spirits.
UNITED KINGDOM (UK)
- June 2022 – The United States lifts its reservation on the UK’s modified tariff schedule to account for the UK’s withdrawal from European Union (EU). This action codified the UK’s implementation of TRQs negotiated between the United States and the UK as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and thereby provides certainty to U.S. agricultural exporters, including via increased access to the UK market for products such as pork and beef.
- March 2022 – Uruguay suspends new import requirements for poultry implemented in August 2021 following U.S. engagement highlighting Uruguay’s failure to notify the new requirements to the WTO SPS Committee. Uruguay agreed to suspend the new requirements and engage with U.S. technical experts before implementing any new requirements, thereby maintaining U.S. market access in the interim.
- July 1, 2022 – Vietnam implements a Most-Favored-Nation tariff reduction on frozen pork that was announced during Vice President Harris’s visit in August 2021, putting U.S. pork exports to Vietnam on a level playing field with that from competitors. The value of U.S. pork exports to Vietnam had declined from $54 million in 2020 to $14 million in 2021 as Vietnam phased down import duties its FTA partners face.
- November 15, 2021 – Vietnam issued a decree implementing the duty reductions on three commodities announced during Vice President Harris’s trip to Vietnam in August. The decree eliminated the MFN tariff on all classes of wheat and lowered the MFN duty for corn from five percent to two percent on December 30, 2021. The MFN duty on pork dropped from 15 percent to 10 percent on July 1, 2022.
- June 31, 2021 – Vietnam issues circular 05/2021 amending requirements in National Technical Regulation (NTR) 190 for the Maximum Level of Undesirable Substances in Feed and Feed Ingredients. The amendment incorporated all of the United States’ recommendations. NTR 190 was expected to negatively impact up to $1 billion per year in U.S. exports to Vietnam.
- June 24 and August 24, 2021 – USTR and USDA secure Vietnam’s approval of four products of agricultural biotechnology.
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)
- Ministerial Conference 12 (MC12, June 2022) – Outcomes reflected the priorities and interests of U.S. agricultural stakeholders, while sending a clear message that trade is a key part of the solution to ensuring global food security. Through these efforts the United States and key allies soundly rejected attempts by some WTO Members for Ministerial outcomes that would have led to market distortions, unfair competition to U.S. products, and further destabilization of long-term global food security. A coalition representing a broad range of U.S. agricultural stakeholders praised USTR for ensuring a successful Ministerial outcome, with WTO Members committing to both short- and long-term actions aimed at strengthening the resilience of global agricultural markets through 1) a Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity and 2) a Ministerial Decision on World Food Program Food Purchases Exemptions from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions.
- Due to extensive engagement with WTO Members in and on the margins of the SPS Committee, Ministers adopted the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Declaration for the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference: Responding to Modern SPS Challenges. Originally proposed by Brazil, Canada, and the United States, the Declaration and its Work Program directed Members of the SPS Committee to identify opportunities to increase productivity, enhance sustainability and facilitate trade, and identify concerns that could adversely affect the ability of WTO Members to meet the critical SPS challenges ahead for agriculture and trade; the work program was completed in July 2023 and the Committee is developing a report, including recommendations, for the Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference.