WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley joined a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to raise directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping concerns about China's delays in approving agricultural biotech products.
President Xi will be meeting with President Obama yet this week. The U.S. is also hosting China in the inaugural U.S.-China Strategic Agricultural Innovation Dialogue, during which it's expected agricultural biotech issues will be discussed.
The senators wrote, "It is our understanding that there is a growing queue of biotechnology-derived crops under review within China's Ministry of Agriculture, creating additional regulatory uncertainty, and undermining commitments made last year to bolster science-based agricultural innovation and trade...We ask that you seek a commitment from President Xi to move forward with the queue of biotechnology products, including those awaiting final import approvals."
Iowa is a leader in agricultural biotechnology. From innovative approaches to biofuels and agriculture technology to seed genetics and biosciences, the industry is seeing a high rate of growth in the state and is an important component of the state's economy.
Grassley joined the letter led by Senators John Thune and Debbie Stabenow along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Christopher Coons (R-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), David Vitter (R-La.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).