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“ALL OPTIONS” CONSIDERED BY U.S. OVER MEXICO’S CORN IMPORT RESTRICTIONS


by Keith Good, University of Illinois Farmdoc project

Reuters writer Andrea Shalal reported yesterday that, "The United States will consider 'all options,' including a formal trade dispute panel, unless Mexico addresses Washington's concerns over Mexico's plan to limit imports of genetically modified corn, a senior U.S. trade official said on Wednesday.

"The United States has threatened a trade dispute panel under a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada over the plan, which would ban genetically modified corn for human consumption.

"Mexico believes the disagreement is 'politically motivated,' its economy ministry said on Monday."

The Reuters article added that, "The latest U.S. comments came days after U.S. Agriculture Tom Vilsack said a trade dispute panel under the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement would be the next step if talks were not successful, followed by talks between top U.S. trade negotiator Katherine Tai and Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro on Friday.

"'These concerns are quite serious. Mexico's policies are not based upon science,' the official said. 'They would cause serious harm to U.S. farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and can further stifle the very innovation ... that we need to respond to climate change and food security challenges.'"

A news release yesterday from Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D, Il.) indicated that, "Today, [Congresswoman Budzinski] led a bipartisan letter with Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-16), Bill Foster (IL-11), Mike Bost (IL-12) and Mary Miller (IL-15) urging the U.S. Trade Representative to keep all options on the table to enforce trade commitments as Mexico considers a ban on genetically modified (GM) corn from the United States. The letter also requests updates on the negotiations with Mexico from Ambassador Tai.

"Illinois farmers are the second-largest producer of corn in the United States, with a large majority of such corn grown with GM seeds. Mexico's ban is inconsistent with the terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement."

Nat'l Corn Growers Assn tweeted:
"At the end of the day, we're trying to stand up for a science-based international trading system. And if we don't stand up for USMCA in this case, it's going to be really hard to continue to expand trade around the globe." -
@NationalCorn

To read the entire report click here.
CEO Neil Caskey


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