Mexico’s proposed changes to a planned ban on imports of US corn are insufficient, the Biden administration warned, saying that it continues to consider all of its rights to respond under the free-trade agreement between the nations.
“Mexico’s proposed approach, which is not grounded in science, still threatens to disrupt billions of dollars in bilateral agricultural trade, cause serious economic harm to US farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and stifle important innovations needed to help producers respond to pressing climate and food security challenges,” the US Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.
Top agricultural officials from the USTR and the Department of Agriculture met their counterparts from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration in Mexico City Monday.
The Mexican government at the end of 2020 announced plans to phase out genetically modified yellow corn for livestock feed by early 2024.
In December, it offered to postpone parts of its planned ban for a year, people familiar with the situation said at the time, asking not to be identified because the details were private.
Lopez Obrador in November had signaled that he was considering allowing imports of GMO yellow corn for livestock feed, which would provide relief for US farmers, as Mexico is their second-largest export market. Most US corn exports to Mexico are of the yellow variety, primarily used as livestock feed, while Mexico grows its own white corn, used for tortillas and other dishes.
The US National Corn Growers Association welcomed the administration’s rejection, saying that banning biotech corn would “deliver a blow to American farmers and exacerbate current food insecurity in Mexico.”
“Corn growers have become increasingly concerned that Mexico would offer a compromise removing the ban on imports of corn used for livestock feed while moving forward with the proposed ban on corn for human consumption,” the association said. Monday’s statement “shows there is no room for such a compromise,” it added.
Source: El Financiero