USDA and USTR Meet With Mexican Government Over Biotech Restrictions

On Monday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor and U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip met with government officials in Mexico regarding the country’s proposed biotech restrictions on genetically modified corn.

The visit is in response to Mexico’s presidential decree, which would essentially ban genetically modified corn imports beginning January 2024 and thus break commitments under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexican officials traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to present a compromise, including delaying implementation for a year, but USTR and USDA remain concerned. In a press statement from USTR, the offices of Taylor and McKalip state, “these changes are not sufficient, and 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 U.S. farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and stifle important innovations needed to help producers respond to pressing climate and food security challenges.” While the trip highlighted USTR and USDA’s commitment to strengthening the U.S.’s economic and trade relationship with Mexico, the agencies did state that if the biotech issue is not resolved the U.S. will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce its rights under USMCA.

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