U.S. soybean industry sources told Reuters that the deal on the rules governing imports of genetically engineered foods would be announced after U.S. and Chinese representatives initial a draft agreement. The temporary rules were scheduled to expire Dec. 20.

Although sales of U.S. soybeans to China are a fairly recent development, the U.S. soybean industry has been projecting sales of $1 billion in soybeans and products to the People’s Republic – if U.S. trade representatives could overcome the hurdles posed by China’s bureaucracy on biotech foods.

U.S. officials have said their two main objectives in dealing with China’s entry into the World Trade Organization this year were to resolve the impasse over imports of genetically enhanced soybeans and China’s recently announced regulations on cotton imports.

There was no word on any developments on the cotton import rules.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com