USTR starts the consultation process in dispute over Mexico’s corn ban

NAFTA – Canada, US, Mexico

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says she will initiate technical consultations with Mexico over its impending ban on genetically-modified corn. It is the first step in filing a formal dispute under the USMCA Trade Agreement.

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack issued a statement saying the rules need to be founded in science.

“We remain hopeful that our concerns can be fully addressed but, absent that, we will continue to pursue all necessary steps to enforce our rights under the USMCA to ensure that U.S. producers and exporters have full and fair access to the Mexican market.”

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer also issued a statement.

“I’ve been clear from the start – the United States cannot accept Mexico’s unscientific ban against genetically modified corn. It’s a flagrant violation of USMCA, and if allowed would set a dangerous precedent for enforcement of U.S. international trade agreements. Until Mexico relents, we should be prepared to pursue a full dispute settlement.”

Ranking member John Boozman praised the announcement.

“Trade agreements are meaningless if our partners refuse to abide by them. Mexico’s attempts to ban U.S. biotech corn is a clear-cut example of a partner going back on its word. We have an obligation to ensure American producers are given the fair access to markets they were promised. Ambassador Katherine Tai and her team ought to be commended for standing up for American farmers and taking the necessary actions to hold Mexico to the agreement they signed.”

Related Stories
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says there are a few silver linings in the spring forecast for farmers even if El Niño doesn’t make its exit in the coming weeks.