The Trump administration will attack overseas regulations that restrict the export of GMO crops and other products resulting from American technological innovation, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the first meeting of a newly created interdepartmental task force on rural America. “We are going to bring cases at the WTO [World Trade Organization] and other venues, we’re going to insist that any barrier be science-based, and the United States will increase exports,” he said.
For decades, U.S. policy has called for international trade rules to be based on fact rather than prejudice. The agribusiness community often points to science-based regulation as a way of removing obstacles to the export of genetically engineered crops. While dozens of reviews have maintained that GE crops are safe to eat, they still face significant public opposition in Europe and other places.
Lighthizer said one of the top priorities for his office is the removal of trade barriers that cannot be defended scientifically. Exports generate 20¢ of each dollar of U.S. farm income. If other countries unfairly block U.S. exports because of the technology behind them, he said, “there is a reluctance to incorporate that technology into our own production at home.”
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