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U.S. Lawmakers Call for Enforcement of Mexico’s USMCA Biotech Commitments Over GMO Corn Ban

Reuters writer Cassandra Garrison reported late last week that, “A group of bipartisan U.S. lawmakers called on Trade Representative on Friday to start consultations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) over Mexico’s ban on genetically modified (GM) corn and the herbicide glyphosate.

“The letter signed by 24 members of Congress and led by Republican Representative Adrian Smith and Democratic Representative Daniel Kildee of the Ways and Means Committee, both of whom represent corn-producing states. They requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico over policies they said are ‘not based on science.’

“Mexico’s presidential decree bans GM corn and glyphosate in 2024, though government officials have recently said they are working on a proposal to overhaul the plan, including an extension on the timeline.”

Top 10 Markets for Corn in 2021. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service Graph.

The Reuters article noted that, “‘We urge USTR to promptly request dispute settlement consultations with Mexico on these issues,’ the U.S. lawmakers said. ‘Ignoring Mexico’s disregard for its USMCA commitments sends a signal to our other trading partners that they may take similar actions without repercussions.’

“The lawmakers said Mexico’s government has not lived up to its ‘biotech-related commitments in the USMCA’ and that the USTR must enforce the agriculture provisions of the trade pact.”

Garrison added that, “Mexico imports about 17 million tonnes of corn from the United States, of which about 18% to 20% is white corn, used in food products like tortillas. President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador has said the ban focuses on corn for human consumption and that GM yellow corn for animal feed would still be allowed for another two years.”

“Mexican officials, however, have not clarified whether they will reduce imports of yellow corn,” the article said.

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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