Officials from China and the US have inked a protocol to work together to research and develop biotechnology in agriculture.

According to a statement released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cooperation will include work on food safety and food processing as well as biotechnology.

US exporters have grown increasingly concerned over the last few years as regulators in China worked on new biotechnology legislation that looked likely to make market access more difficult. While work on the new legislation progresses, interim provisions that allow the US to carry on exporting soybeans to China have been extended.

USDA secretary Ann Veneman commented: "Consistent, science-based regulatory systems will strengthen the US-China agricultural trade relationship, reduce trade obstacles and help resolve outstanding issues."