Mary A. Marchant
University of Kentucky
Cheng Fang
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Baohui Song
University of Kentucky

China is a key player in global agricultural markets. Soybeans are an important commodity for both the United States and China, whereby China is the leading global importer of soybeans and the United States is the leading global exporter. Soybeans are also ranked as the United States’ number one export for bulk agricultural commodities, with China as the leading import market for US soybeans. As of 2003, 81% of soybeans planted in the United States were transgenic. Thus, changes in China’s biotech policies will significantly impact soybean trade between the United States and China. An understanding of the evolution of China’s biotech regulations and factors that may influence China’s future biotech policies is crucial for both US producers and policymakers. This article introduces the development of China’s biotech regulations in detail. Focusing on soybeans, we assess the impacts of China’s biotech policy changes on US trade with China. Finally, we identify factors that may affect China’s future stance on biotechnology.

Key words: Biotechnology, soybeans, China, regulations, agricultural policy, adoption, genetically modified, GM, transgenic.