U.S. to initiate trade dispute with Mexico over biotech corn

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The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office announced that it is filing a dispute settlement under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in response to Mexico’s ban on biotech corn for human consumption.

Under the agreement, once a dispute settlement gets filed, a group of objective experts will hear the case and make a final determination based on the commitments of both parties under the free trade agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai says Mexico’s measures are inconsistent with several of its obligations in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Market Access chapters of the agreement.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a statement.

“USDA supports success for all farmers, and that means embracing fair, open, science- and rules-based trade. In this spirit, the USMCA was written to ensure that producers in all three countries have full and fair access to each other’s markets. We fundamentally disagree with the position Mexico has taken on the issue of biotechnology, which has been proven to be safe for decades. Through this action, we are exercising our rights under USMCA while supporting innovation, nutrition security, sustainability, and the mutual success of our farmers and producers.”

The National Corn Growers Association praised the development.

“Mexico’s actions, not based on sound science, have threatened the financial well-being of corn growers and rural communities,” says NCGA President Tom Haag (HAYG).