‘War’ over GM corn is official: US formally requests consultations with Mexico


Katherine Tai assured that the technical reviews with Mexico “did not resolve the issue,” so it was decided to formally initiate consultations under the USMCA for transgenic corn.

The United States government officially requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under the USMCA due to concerns about biotechnology policies implemented by Mexico.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR), Katherine Tai, stressed that Mexico’s policy could affect US exports to Mexico and have a negative impact on agricultural producers.

“Technical consultations did not resolve the matter,” she read in the statement.

A day earlier, 62 US congressional legislators signed a letter to Tai expressing their dissatisfaction and concern over the two months that had already elapsed from technical consultations without any progress.

Ambassador Tai noted that Mexico’s biotechnology policies are not backed by science and pose a threat to US agricultural exports.

In addition, she pointed out that these policies hinder agricultural innovation that benefits American farmers in their fight against climate challenges, while affecting their productivity and livelihoods.

In this regard, the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, Tom Vilsack, supported Tai’s position and stressed the importance of fair trade and based on science. Vilsack noted that Mexico has taken the wrong position on biotechnology even though it has been proven safe for decades.

Likewise, she emphasized that the United States would exercise its rights under the USMCA to support innovation, food security and the success of farmers and producers.

The request for these dispute resolution consultations focuses on the measures established in the decree issued by Mexico on February 13, 2023, which include the prohibition of the use of biotechnological corn in tortillas or dough, as well as the instruction to gradually replace it in all products intended for human and animal consumption.

Authorization requests for the import and sale of certain biotechnology products have also been rejected. According to the United States, these measures are inconsistent with Mexico’s obligations in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Market Access chapters of the USMCA.

“The United States has sought to resolve these concerns through dialogue with the Government of Mexico. Meetings and technical consultations have been held, but so far no satisfactory solution has been reached,” the statement read.

Source: El Financiero