USMCA dispute panel formed over Mexico’s ban on bio-tech corn

A United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) dispute panel formed, seeking a resolution to Mexico’s controversial bio-tech corn ban.

A panel was officially formed in order to address the ongoing trade dispute within the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) surrounding Mexico’s ban on biotech corn. This dispute has been a point of contention among the largest North American countries since late 2020. This dispute has implications not only for trade but also for the broader agricultural industry on both sides of the border.

While it currently shows no signs of abating, U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip expressed optimism that a resolution to this long-standing issue could potentially be reached as early as next spring.

Over the last three years, U.S. officials have stood firm in their position that Mexico’s decision to ban bio-tech corn is not rooted in science, further maintaining that bio-tech corn is safe for both human consumption and use as animal feed.

On the other hand, corn was first domesticated by native peoples in Southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago and played an important part of the agricultural revolution. Today, the corn, or maiz, remains an important part of Mexico’s cultural identity.

The newly formed panel will have the crucial task of determining whether Mexico’s ban on bio-tech corn violates the terms and provisions of the USMCA. As the proceedings unfold, it will be closely watched by stakeholders in the agricultural and trade sectors, as the outcome could have significant implications for future trade relationships and the use of biotechnology in agriculture.