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Senators push for transparent biotech approvals

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing President Trump to support timely, transparent, and science-based approvals of agricultural biotechnology products.

A letter signed by more than three dozen senate lawmakers says biotech innovation is hindered by China’s regulatory delays, blocking market access to biotech crops waiting for approval.

“Over the last few decades, advancements in research and the development of crop technologies in the U.S. have allowed producers to achieve higher yields, overcome weather challenges, and require fewer inputs, such as pesticide and nitrogen application.” The senators wrote. “This innovation is significantly hindered by delays in China’s regulatory system, as producers who seek to access and compete in the global market risk rejection of shipments of grain and oilseeds.”

The senators want Trump Administration negotiators to prioritize the issue in continuing trade talks with China.

“We recognize the recent decision to suspend the scheduled tariff increase and look forward to resolving critical trade barriers in the ongoing negotiations,” they wrote. “As you prepare to meet with President Xi, and your Administration continues negotiations on a U.S.-China trade agreement, we ask that you continue to prioritize a timely, transparent, and science-based system for the approval of agricultural biotechnology products.”

The senators signing the letter include:
Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman, Senate Agriculture Committee; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Mike Braun, R-Ind.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Doug Jones, D-Ala.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Ben Sasse, R-Neb.; Tina Smith, D-Minn.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; John Thune, R-S.D.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; and Todd Young, R-Ind.

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