As a charter member of the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance (USBCA), American Soybean Association and USBCA members urged President Barack Obama to address the persistent delays in the Chinese approvals process for new biotech traits during next month’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit.

As the most significant market for U.S. soybeans, China purchased more than $14 billion in American beans last year alone. However, as the letter noted, the U.S. agricultural crop value-chain currently faces serious challenges in providing for predictable and stable trade to China due to the inability to secure timely import approvals for new biotechnology products and a growing concern that factors other than science are being used as justification to reject applications.

In the letter, ASA and the USBCA urged the president to make the issue of transparent and predictable approvals a top priority, and to advance the relationship between the U.S. and China beyond the status quo.