China is expected to announce soon whether it will extend its interim GMO trade rules due to expire on 20 December.

The rules were put in place to overcome the disruption to the import of Sino-U. soybeans caused by China’s confusing original set of rules concerning imports of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Allen Johnson, Chief agriculture negotiator for the US Trade Representative, has said that several Chinese officials have made assurances that China will announce an extension of the interim rules ahead of the meeting between China’s President Jiang Zemin and US President George W. Bush, which takes place on 25 October at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Many traders will be hoping for a swift announcement of an extension so that the now flourishing soybean trade, which was worth US$1bn last year, is not disrupted.