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USTR Begins Process to Resolve Mexico Corn Ban Dispute

Micheal Clements

News Service Editor, NAFB

David Salmonsen

Senior Director, Government Affairs

photo credit: Mark Stebnicki, North Carolina Farm Bureau

The U.S. this week took the first step under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement to resolve Mexico’s attempt to block biotech corn imports. Micheal Clements shares more on the ongoing discussions.

Clements: The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has initiated action against Mexico regarding the country’s decree that would limit and eventually stop U.S. corn exports to Mexico. Dave Salmonsen, AFBF Senior Government Affairs Director, says USTR’s effort is under the authority of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Salmonsen: The first thing that's done is what's called a request for consultations. That can take several months if necessary. Then, if the issue isn't resolved, they move on to a dispute resolution panel. So, USTR this week has started the process to try to get this issue with Mexico resolved.
Clements: Mexico first issued a decree to limit the import of biotech corn in 2020.
Salmonsen: Part of what the Mexican government was looking at was the use of glyphosate. Of course, the U.S. produces a lot of corn that is exported to Mexico, it's our number one export market. So, anything that would limit those exports is, of course, a big concern. And the fact that it was on such a non-scientific basis, we can see it as just being an attempt to limit trade.
Clements: Salmonsen adds discussions with Mexico on the issue will continue.
Salmonsen: The resolution we'd be looking for is for Mexico to either withdraw them or change them so that they won't have an impact on U.S. exports. There is time for discussion, but if the discussions aren't fruitful, then the U.S. can take the action of calling for a dispute panel, and getting a ruling on what Mexico has done. So, there's still plenty to happen going forward.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.