Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on JCCT

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Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on JCCT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2016—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement regarding the conclusion of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the need for further progress on biotechnology issues:

"We are disappointed that further progress was not made on agricultural biotechnology issues during the 27th JCCT. The focus of this JCCT was on the implementation of prior commitments.

"Although China has made some progress, it has not fully implemented commitments on agricultural biotechnology that it made to the United States which date back as far as September 2015. Those commitments still stand and the United States expects their full implementation.

"During this JCCT, the United States requested that China commit to clarifying how its approval system for approving biotech traits will operate in a predictable, transparent, and scientific manner. The U.S. further requested that China commit to work constructively to help address the global problem of asynchronous approvals for biotech products.

"The U.S. will be watching the meeting of China’s National Biosafety Committee scheduled to take place next month, and expects that the remaining eight biotech traits will be reviewed based on science and risk, and accordingly approved.

"Lack of progress on biotech issues will continue to add years to the process of commercializing them, will slow innovation and set back global efforts to address food security and climate change. The United States expects that China will fully implement its prior commitments and will work collaboratively with us to address these global challenges in the future."