The Organization for Innovation in Biotechnology accuses the AMLO administration of violating the USMCA

The US organization says that Cofepris in this six-year term is an obstacle for agricultural biotechnology. (El Financiero)

The Organization for Innovation in Biotechnology warns that if there is no dialogue, it will resort to controversies.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) denounced that almost a year after the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USMCA), the Lopez Obrador administration has violated the commitments acquired with its partners by establishing barriers to trade in multiple sectors, especially in the biotech sector.

“The Government of Mexico, under the leadership of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has chosen to turn its back on biotechnology, a technology that is essential for the response to the pandemic and for a greener and more resilient global economy,” said the organization.

Through a statement, BIO indicated that a more constructive dialogue is needed with the Mexican authorities, or they will need to use the USMCA’s dispute resolution mechanisms.

“The USMCA included a strengthened dispute resolution mechanism. The United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has spoken about this mechanism recently and has indicated that there are processes that could be used,” said BIO.

The organization also argued that the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, stated, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, that the United States Government is willing to use a full set of tools available for dispute resolution when Mexico does not comply with the terms of the USMCA.

During the last week, the United States Trade Representation (USTR) has already launched the USMCA’s ​​Rapid Response Labor Mechanism with a labor lawsuit against the General Motors plant in Silao, Guanajuato.

As an example, the biotechnology organization detailed that since AMLO took office in 2018, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) has represented an obstacle for agricultural biotechnology.

“As a result, Mexico’s regulatory system has gone from being a science-based and predictable system to a true black box,” she stressed.

They noted that the delays in the issuance of import permits for agricultural biotechnology features by Cofepris only serve to threaten cross-border trade in agricultural products and jeopardize American farmers’ access to new technologies that have been developed to cope with environmental stresses, which are essential for sustainable agricultural production.

“Before AMLO took power in 2018, the Mexican government’s biotechnology import approval process was science-based, transparent, and, in general, predictable, unfortunately, the current situation is that AMLO’s government has not issued a biotechnology import approval since 2018, which raises important doubts about whether Mexico currently maintains what can be called a functioning biotechnology regulatory system, ”BIO denounced.

Source: El Financiero

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