Iowa Senator Questioning USTR Nominee on Biotech Barriers
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is asking Michael Froman - the President's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative - for his thoughts on making the resolution of regulatory barriers facing biotech seeds a higher priority when negotiating with U.S. trading partners. The written questions from Grassley are a follow-up to a letter he wrote with more than 20 Senators - including Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow - on the need for the administration to engage U.S. trading partners in high-level discussions on breaking down barriers to biotechnology. Since Grassley was unable to attend the entire nomination hearing for Froman in person - he is asking his questions in writing to be answered for the hearing record. Grassley says American farmers have adopted biotechnology seeds to increase production as they help feed the world. He says they need to be able to get their products to market - and need to have the confidence they can adopt the technology available to them without fear our trading partners will erect barriers. Specifically - Grassley is asking how USTR intends to work with trading partners to improve market access for U.S. crops derived from biotechnology. He also is asking for a commitment to work to remove the regulatory barriers to U.S. biotechnology derived seeds as the United States and European Union move forward with a formal trade agreement negotiation.
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