On Tuesday, the 8th of January, 2019, China had approved imports of five genetically modified (GM) crops, which was the first in around 18 months, and this much-anticipated move could boost the purchase of overseas grains and ease pressures for US to open its market for more firm products. Since US is the world’s biggest producer of genetically modified crops and China is among the top importers of GM Soybean and canola, this approval reignited the hopes among US farmers, as earlier reports revealed news of rotting US crops on the fields, amid Beijing tariff hike on US crops. None the less, the global seed companies alongside, US farmers had been complaining for long about Beijing’s dilatory and erratic process of approving GM crops for import, which added further stresses to the ongoing trade tensions. Critically, the approval came at a time, when the US and Chinese delegates were in a two-day meeting on Beijing, seeking a decipherable solution for the tariff war.
Citing China’s goodwill gesture towards a comforting solution of the trade conflict, a China representative of US Agricultural Industry Association commented, “It’s a goodwill gesture toward the resolution of the trade issue”. The approval came after a day, the Indian Supreme Court had approved the claim of Monsanto patents for GM crops in the country.