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U.S., United Kingdom Trade Discussions Ongoing; Mexico Issues New Decree



Micheal Clements

News Service Editor, NAFB

David Salmonsen

Senior Director, Government Affairs

The dialogue between the United States and the United Kingdom continues this week, while Mexico issued a new decree regarding biotech corn. Micheal Clements shares more on where U.S. ag stands around the globe.

Clements: The United States and the United Kingdom continue to explore the path towards a trade agreement, though there are still several obstacles that need to be addressed. Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Government Affairs Director, explains.
Salmonsen: Both countries are engaging in something called dialogues where they are exploring issues trying to get better relationships. The U.S. and UK in agriculture have a pretty robust trade: each country sends about $2 billion worth annually to the other, but it certainly is something that definitely can be improved.
Clements: The United Kingdom Secretary of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs called for a free trade agreement with the U.S. this week in Washington.
Salmonsen: Farm Bureau certainly supports that. There’re several barriers, the United Kingdom is still moving away from their time as being part of the European Union. Their regulatory system needs a push, they need to move closer to a science-based standards system that we have. They need to reduce their tariffs, they signed trade agreements this past year with both Australia and New Zealand where they're phasing out tariffs on food imports, and we need the same treatment.
Clements: Meanwhile, Mexico issued a new decree regarding importing genetically modified corn.
Salmonsen: They want to phase out fairly quickly the imports of white corn from the U.S. and look to some point next year or beyond phase down imports of yellow corn. None of this has any basis in science, so, this is giving more impetus to the folks urging our Trade Representative’s office just to bring a case under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement against Mexico. Certainly we think this is a very clear trade violation of that agreement.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.