A recent meeting between American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and a delegation of officials from Mexico included talk about trade and a variety of other topics. Chad Smith has more on the meeting.
Smith: American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall met with Tatiana Clouthier, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, and Esteban Moctezuma Barragon, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Dave Salmonsen, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau, says ag trade was a big topic of conversation.
Salmonsen: Annually, we're over 40 billion dollars of two-way trade. Mexico is the third-largest export market for U.S. farmers and ranchers, a large import market, of course. And, of course, this is the first anniversary, just a few weeks ago, of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement—Tariff-free trade and agriculture between the U.S. and Mexico—we reviewed that and how important USMCA will be to the future of our trade relationship.
Smith: Salmonsen says one of the key reasons AFBF wanted to meet with the delegation was to discuss challenges with trade between the U.S. and Mexico.
Salmonsen: One of which is a decree that was put out by them last December on glyphosate. They want to phase out the use of that, restrict it in Mexico, and we're very concerned about that, given what a large market for U.S. corn Mexico is. We also got to the issue of biotechnology product approvals. Mexico has been very slow—nonexistent, really, lately—and we certainly made the point that we need to continue with a science-based approach when we're dealing with technology.
Smith: The group also discussed issues between seasonal produce growers.
Salmonsen: Well, it's an issue on both sides of the border. We have many of our growers in different parts of the country that have a real concern that product comes in in overwhelming amounts and really hurts prices, hurts their domestic marketing, with the short marketing window they have for various products. We’re talking about blueberries and strawberries and squash and cucumbers and peppers and other products. The Mexican side also has issues, of course, they want to see marketing opportunities here in the U.S.
Smith: The two sides also discussed safety issues for agricultural producers at the Southern U.S. border as a large influx of migrants flow into the United States. Chad Smith, Washington.